White Feathers


I saw three white feathers today.

The first lay on the windowsill. A little gift quivering in the wind. It was the type of feather you see in a milliners, waiting to be placed proudly in the grandest of hats. I wondered if it had fallen from the top of the maple tree in the lane, whirling, drifting through the silent morning to land like an offering on an altar.

It reminded me of Nelly Coogan, who lived next door to me when I was a kid. She had cat’s eye glasses and leather gloves that buttoned at the wrists. Every morning she would put her pots of homegrown parsley on the kitchen windowsill before she went to work. The sparrows would come and nibble while she was gone, leaving a trail of tiny feathers in their wake.

The second feather floated on the glassy water of the bay, tumbling and spinning in the current. Pointing over the bridge, under the bridge; north and south as the wind eddied and billowed. A soft, white weather vane.

It made me think of the toy compass my son used to have that told you which direction you were going in every time you pressed the button. Very useful. It was always handy to know that when you stood on it in the middle of the night as you stumbled to the bathroom that you were heading north.

The third feather lay on the grass under the Moreton Bay figs that line the shore. It was nestled so carefully it could have been placed there by fairy folk saving it as an eiderdown for the end of the day. I remembered treasure hunts and party games from long ago and moments eating sticky chocolate in the sun.

Three white feathers. Peace, hope, surrender. I wonder if they fell from the same bird, who knew with the wisdom only birds have, where I would walk.

They say things happen in threes. Good things, bad things. Today they were good things. Not discarded. Sent like notes from friends.Β  Breaking through the sky.


25 thoughts on “White Feathers

  1. What a lovely, peaceful and hopeful post Sel.

    I found two “lucky” pennies yesterday, shiny and new…perhaps a good omen too. Here’s hoping for both of us.

    Take care, many hugs, G


  2. Thou waxed philosophical today…

    I think it’s cool that not only did you pull such meaning on a seemingly ordinary occurrence, but that you noticed three of them! Most people wouldn’t have seen one feather. Says a lot about your character. πŸ™‚


  3. About twelve years ago, I bought an Akubra bush hat in Sydney. An old man told me that, for the best luck, I should throw away the feather that came with the hat, and replace it with a ‘real’ one. I found one in the Flinders Ranges in red, gold and black (same colours as the German flag) and I often wonder what kind of bird it came from


  4. VIBAKU:
    How nice of you to visit. Thank you!

    They were three gifts. It’s a nice way of looking at it!

    Oooh, pennies are really lucky. There’s change in the air for us, G. I can feel it!

    I do notice odd things like that but it was as if someone was making me look. Three little signs, I think!!

    Oh, and don’t eat the asparagus. It does change the smell of your you know what. Ewwww.

    I have heard people do that with Akubras. Now you’ve got me wondering what bird it could have come from. Time to consult the bird book….


  5. Selma
    some times a the end of ones day the world doesn’t look as rosy as when the day started. Today was one of those days for me. tired and ready to head for home I decided to read a few blogs. Yours turned my dreary evening into a sunshiney morning. thank you


  6. Peace, hope and surrender… I have heard that things happen in three’s but I always thought bad three or good three and not a good and a bad! This makes me feel a lot better πŸ™‚ I have been on pins and needles as this August approaches waiting for the other shoe to drop (I think that is what they say) But now I will think of it this way – my three has happened: operation August 2007, bc (surgery, treatments and all the rest) and my happy three – my dream trip to Italy – so there my three!

    I love this post – now I am off to bed with a smile on my face! Thanks Selma for that ray of sunshine that always brightens my day!


  7. “. It was always handy to know that when you stood on it in the middle of the night as you stumbled to the bathroom that you were heading north.”

    that made me laugh out loud.


    You are an absolute sweetie. It makes me really happy I could brighten your dreary day. Thank you for your lovely comment.

    Awwww, you’re going to make me cry. Yes, it’s definitely time for you to have a happy moment. I am so happy you are going back to Italy. I hope you are feeling a little better. And if I can brighten your day in any way then my work here is done!

    Thanks so much. Lovely of you to say so.

    You would not believe the number of times I stood on that compass when Nick was little. Used to scare the life out of me!

    I really appreciate your lovely comment. That has made my day!


    I know. What’s up with the deformed smilies, WordPress?
    Your pennies worked all right. I am really pleased for you!


  10. Hey, PAUL;
    Have I ever told you how much your very kind comments mean to me? There is something very rewarding about a writer I truly admire enjoying my work. It’s bonza, mate!


  11. I’m having second and third thoughts re: the luck that supposedly arrived this week. Can there ever be an easy decision to make? It’s not happening for me…


  12. My God, Selma. Such poetry. Such talent. I have always found feathers to be very mystical….I have a long, involved story about feathers and what they have meant to me over the years. You inspired me to get it out!


    The big decisions are never easy and definitely not straightforward. Sometimes I think life just gets more and more complicated the older we get. I hope you get some clarity soon. Hang in there!

    That’s what I thought. It’s unusual to see one white feather, let alone three. Looks like someone, somewhere was trying to tell me something!

    I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read that story. I have a fascination with feathers too. There is definitely a mysticism factor there. The mythology surrounding feathers seems to appear in every culture. I think I might just do a future post on some of my experiences with feathers over the years. You have inspired me too!


  14. what i wouldn’t give to see the world thru your eyes even for only a day.. you have such an eye for beauty.. i envy that …


  15. NAT:
    It really keeps me going. Sometimes when I listen to the news and think of all the horrible things happening in the world I feel a little overburdened. It does get me down a bit. And then I see something as innocuous as a white feather and it lifts my spirits. I go from Emo to Flower Child in one swoop. LOL.

    You have it too. It’s there, don’t think it isn’t. You notice the small things all the time. Just noticing them acknowledges their beauty, I think.


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