Black vulture sunning {Coragyps atratus} Costa Rica:                          picture credit: BBC Nature

Both of my grandmothers (paternal and maternal) believed they had Native American ancestry and while I have been reluctant to claim that varied noble culture for myself, I am interested in some aspects of the spiritual beliefs.

Animals have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and there are some I am specifically drawn to: cats, dogs, horses – domestic types. As a result of casual study I do pay attention to the animals that cross my path, especially when it is an unusual occurrence. Once such occurrence was last week when I saw a group of black vultures; and then yesterday I saw them (maybe not the same ones) again, a group of 5, flying overhead, soaring on air currents in easy circles, both wide and narrow. I stood where I was transfixed by their ability to fly without moving their wings, allowing the wind to move them across the earth, seemingly without effort. And, when I remembered this was my 2nd sighting in a week, I thought that perhaps there was something I needed to think about. I looked up the Vulture as Animal Totem and read that among the many possibilities of meaning, the one that meant the most to me was “a promise that difficulty is temporary and essential for a greater purpose.”

Now, while I don’t believe in magic (sorry, Harry Potter) I do believe that God answers prayers in a way that is meaningful to the individual. I have been praying for relief from a difficulty I am going through and this, for me, was His answer. He has promised to care for me and see me through any hard place. And Vulture soaring overhead was a reminder for me to be patient.

Other people may say it was just a flock of birds; but for me it was an answer to a prayer.



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