Jilly D.

Shapeshifting

In Signs from beyond on August 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm

The owl who sits upon the telephone wire on North Buck Hill Road greets me most mornings as I drive into Trumansburg. I know it is Sam watching over me. I knew it more than a dozen years ago when we first fell in love. Sam didn’t believe in cellular phones. We had a spiritual connection and he would appear to me in the shape of an animal; most often birds. His thoughts would pop into my head as I recognized the animal as him. The blue heron who resides on the pond, a goose flying west into the sunset solo, the red winged hawk, the red cardinal who sings from the top of the windmill tower, the turkey vulture, the golden eagle. He’s also appeared to me in the form of deer, rabbit, fox, red cat, and turtle. He still comes to me today by shapeshifting in nature. One morning in the fog while I headed around the pond dyke I thought I saw him standing in the pavilion, leaning against the ledge, as he had done so many times before. I started running toward him and the dogs started to bark. An optical illusion. But I feel his presence there in the pavilion. The last photographs I took of Sam he stood there in the pavilion. The first shot was a great one: he was relaxed and leaning his chin on his hand with his elbow resting on the ledge. He looked calm and peaceful and he smiled at me. Then he stood up and turned his back to me. I took the second shot of his cold shoulder. The last few weeks he didn’t want his picture taken. He shunned the photographer from the student newspaper the first week of September. He said he had his reasons. Two weeks earlier, he’d posed with his arm wrapped around me for a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, farming newspaper photographer. What happened inbetween? Sam buried five horses struck dead by lightening.

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