Gabrielle Elise Jimenez
Light as a Feather
I was sitting with a friend on a bench when a white feather slowly floated by, stopping periodically as if to say hello or perhaps just take in the view. My friend told me that when she sees a white feather, she believes that it is her sister paying a visit. I knew her sister and she was an incredibly kind person and I think the beautiful white feather is fitting as a representation of her visits. I like the idea of her stopping by to say hello and I was pleased with her visit, and the conversation that followed… all in her honor.
I have written before about the different things people see and equate to as a visit from someone they love and have lost. For me it is a dragonfly, which always symbolizes a visit from my sister. I have heard of hummingbirds, butterflies, and cardinals as well, and I have also heard of pennies or dimes being left on the ground. Sometimes it is a light or music that is turned on, or a window that is mysteriously opened, all of which gives us the feeling that someone we miss terribly is stopping by to let us know they miss us, they love us, and they wanted to say hello. This works for me.
As we sat there on the bench, a little teary-eyed from the conversation, I watched as the feather floated away and up into the air. The feather itself was small and light and I giggled to myself as I thought, “light as a feather.” This got me thinking about the people I have said goodbye to, both personally and professionally, of which there are many. Imagine if they all came to say hello at the same time and the sky was flooded with feathers, and how absolutely amazing that would be. And I wondered to myself… would they all be white feathers, or would they be a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors?
Someone once told me that when I die, everyone I ever cared for at the end of their life, would be waiting for me when it was my turn to go. They would all be gathered together, waiting to welcome me, each one shouting, “me first” in hopes to have a chance to sit down with me to thank me for the care I provided. I loved this idea, and I imagined the conversations we would have, hoping to hear their stories of the lives they had before the day I met them. Having the memory of this conversation in my head, I imagined the sky full of feathers and I smiled.
People will argue that the feather is just a feather and the dragonfly, the hummingbird and the cardinal would show up whether or not someone we love had died. And they would probably say that pennies and dimes are just coins on the ground that fell out of a pocket. Humph. I believe that my sister visits me often as a dragonfly, and my friend’s sister was the beautiful white feather, because this comforts me.
Life is fragile and it is precious, and, in many ways, it is as light as a feather… easily picked up by the wind and taken away. If someone you know tells you that seeing a feather, a dragonfly, a hummingbird, a cardinal, a penny or a dime gives them comfort because they believe they were visited by (or received a sign from) someone they love, simply ask them what colors they were, or what message they received, and be happy for them, because at that moment… their ache was a little less.