“All depends on your state of mind…”

Those of you who know me, will be aware that, whilst I am not a religious type, I will try take a balanced view rather than just dismiss. The same goes for other beliefs or opinions held by my friends or colleagues – even the strange ramblings of my brother about aliens and UFO cover ups.

However, this week, I was nearly thrown off course and in the end, I began to question whether a lot of beliefs simply revolve around the persons state of mind. This story is in Two very small parts – the first being Monday night. I had been thrown a bit during the day, you know, just when you read perhaps too much into something someone said or did.

I normally park the car in the drive at home, but due to  the fact it was a flying visit before becoming dads taxi for the evening, I parked on the road. I got out of the car and walked down the drive and noticed that sat on the little porch above my front door was the most stunning Brown Owl.

It may not have been the first visit of said Owl, but the first time I had noticed and it stopped me in my tracks. It was sat still, just looking at me as the evening darkness was closing in. To be honest, it was quite a powerful moment. It didn’t last too long, before the Owl decided to take flight. I thought little of it, other than to mention it to Ollie in a Harry Potter type way.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon and a chance conversation with a colleague. I mentioned the incident with the Owl and without hesitation, I was informed that the Owl was “The Messenger of Death”.  For more than a moment, I was spooked. I have to be honest, given the situation with my father, I even convinced myself that it kind of made sense.

So, I googled it and indeed, its true – well, for some people. In Pagen terms for example, that is exactly what the Owl represents. In others, its the Owls hoot that is the death warning. In this instance, the Owl just sat there silently and looked at me.  Other belief systems see the Owl in a different way.

Navajo think the Owl is the envoy of the supernatural world. The Pawnee believe that it offers protection. The Cherokee see the bird as sacred because of its night-time vision, and wish that power for themselves. Also the fact it can see in the dark gives the suggestion of the true ability to see what is happening around you.

Yet I have always associated the Owl with wisdom – it can see that which others cannot, which is said to be the hallmark of true wisdom. So, its clear that for some the Owl has a dual symbolism of wisdom and darkness. Its not all Harry Potter type sorcerers and witches – its not all death and gloom.

Isn’t the Internet a wonderful place, there is so much more written about this stunning bird. The web is a source of never ending information that can enlighten, but perhaps scaremonger too. But I have to say, that given my perhaps vulnerable mindset at the moment, I can see how some people need to believe in something more.

Or look for something much deeper in a situation that, on the face of it, just is what it is. If I am honest, thats something I have been very much guilty of over recent weeks – looking too deep into things – and I am trying to refocus and be reminded of the late Paul Hesters moto of “keeping it real”.  After all, its the only way to be!

Still, it made for an interesting diversion to the week. Now you will be glad to know that not even I can think of an Owl related song for this blog and I refuse to stoop to the depths of “Owl City”, even though Ollie has a track of theirs on his ipod. So, todays comes from Split Enz – who are celebrating their 40th year as I soon will be!

“Years go by, wonder what you did, yet in a minute you can change your life”…


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