In 1997, the annual Therapeutic Touch conference was held in Vancouver, and to my great delight, my then husband encouraged me to attend. The conference was to be held over a weekend, but as I had a friend living on Vancouver Island, I decided to extend my stay. Two others wanted to join, and while I said they were welcome, I wanted it to be on my terms – outside of the conference, I wanted no set agendas, or schedules. I wanted to be fully open to the experience, and whatever presented itself; to let my intuition alone be the guide.
One of my teachers and mentors was also living in Vancouver at the time, and as it turned out would be on the island during our stay. Em agreed to meet up with us. We needed a place to stay. J, who lived on the island, scouted out a cottage we could rent for cheap. It was November, so very off season. She found a three bedroom that looked like it would accommodate us. We were excited.
We flew into Vancouver and rented a car. By late evening, we were in Victoria. We decided to stop for the night. S and I were up early the next morning, ready to explore.
“What does it mean to follow your intuition?” she asked as we set out on the deserted streets in search of an open coffee shop.
“Some teachings believe that Spirit speaks to us through omens and signs, but most of us miss this guidance in our day to day living, as we are too focused on schedules and obligations. I just want to see what happens when we open to guidance.” A large black bird squawked from its perch across the street. We both looked. “Like that bird, for example. What would happen if we followed it?” On cue, the bird flew a short distance, then stopped. We followed.
S and I were going into business together. She already had an established business, and I had a vision. I wanted to create an environment in which people could find help in times of need, but I didn’t want it to be clinical, or formal. We were thinking a book store, with added services. We shared ideas as we continued to follow the bird, who seemed to be enjoying the game. He would fly only within sight, and wait for us before journeying further. Eventually he stopped just outside a store front. The store was called “The Pomegranate”.
“I like it,” I exclaimed. I had just read something about pomegranates, and how some scholars believed the original apple in the Garden of Eden was actually a pomegranate. I shared this with S.
She told me in the Jewish religion, the pomegranate was a symbol of the many ways man can serve man. She said the pomegranate has multiple seeds (over 100) and that each seed was representative of a different act of service. Our discussion became lively and animated. We walked on, our harbinger forgotten.
When we returned to the hotel, L was ready to move on. We loaded up the rental vehicle, and headed north. L would drive, S would occupy the passenger seat, and I would be the backseat driver, listening for ‘signs’. With its combination of mountains, trees, rock, and water, it is difficult not to feel inspired on the island.
I tried to pay attention not only with my eyes, but also with my other senses. We hadn’t travelled far before I felt a shift in my physical perception. I asked L to pull over. My companions looked at me expectantly. Not sure what I was experiencing, I explained that I felt something different, a sensation of depletion, as if the energy was being zapped out of me. We got out and looked around. Not much to see. I pointed in the direction where I thought the sensation was coming from. There was some big machinery there; it looked like it might be the beginning of construction. We asked a passerby, who responded that the forest was being clear cut here. What a shame, we thought.
We drove on until I suddenly felt my heart begin to flutter, as if it had taken flight. “Pull over,” I announced. “I feel like soaring.” We got out and looked up. Three eagles were circling high above. We watched in speechless reverence.
Our next stop was close to the inner channel. I suddenly felt playful, bubbly. “It’s in the water!” Sure enough, it was. A lone dolphin was jumping in the waves.
“This is fun,” L said. “But I’m getting hungry. Where does your intuition say we should eat?”
“Wendy’s,” I blurted. A chorus of groans erupted. We had driven past a number of quaint towns and cute little restaurants, and fast food was the last thing on our minds.
“Surely, not.” L protested. I shrugged.
Wendy’s came into sight. Reluctantly, we pulled in. I made a beeline for the washroom, while L and S got in line to order. Inside the bathroom, I had the sensation of the earth moving. Something was here, but I had no idea what. “This is the right place.” I told the ladies when I caught up with them. They rolled their eyes. We pushed through the crowded restaurant to find a seat, and were nicely tucking into the food when I heard an unmistakeable laugh. Em was here!
Across the room, seated with her back to us, was a middle-aged woman with a long grey-black braid down her back – Em. We embraced and laughed at the serendipity of meeting in this restaurant, when all of us avoided fast food. Em was visiting friends and would be meeting up with us on Miracle beach later in the week. She travelled by motorcycle, and preferred no schedules. We would see her whenever.
We set off again, now convinced. If we make room in our lives, and open up our awareness, Spirit can speak. It was the beginning of an incredible week. Our setting was aptly named: Miracle Beach. The miracles for that week had just begun.