One of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist, The Witch of Portobello, Brida, etc.) shared in an interview that he never started a new book until a white feather appeared on his path as a sign. After a white feather came across his path, he knew it was time to immediately take his pen to paper and write. All of his books and flow of creation started this way.
I was fascinated by this and shared it with one of my dear talented artist friends over dinner, as we were talking about where inspiration comes from for her gorgeous paintings. On my birthday that year, I unwrapped a beautiful porcelain white feather with a note that said,
“Now you will always have a sign for inspiration, my Dear.”
It is one my most cherished birthday gifts, e v e r.
After ten years running nonprofits, compassion fatigue had set in and I received a clear calling. It was time to leave the nonprofit sector, yet I was struggling on how to leave it. I was passionate about my nonprofit’s mission and the youth we served. And I wanted to make sure to leave it in the best shape possible and at the best time for everyone. Yet I knew in my heart it was time.
One of my dearest friends was also in the middle of a transition, deciding to closing down his beautiful store in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. On his final day of business I wanted to support him. Grabbing a matcha tea, I walked down the hill on a beautiful spring Sunday.
As we always do, we instantly got deep into conversation about life and what is next. Always taking turns and flowing with ease, between his situation and mine.
At one point in the conversation (talking with my hands as I normally do) I said in desperation, “I just need a sign to know what is best to do!”
As my hands were paused in the air, at the end of my sentence. Through the store’s slightly cracked window, a white feather flew through the wind, landing perfectly in my right hand.
Knowing my white porcelain feather story, we responded in unison. We both immediately looked at the white feather resting peacefully in my hand. And with wide eyes looked at each other and smiled.
There is a First Nation Elders saying: