A friend of mine recently sold her first book to the publisher of her dreams. She is seventy-one. Coincidentally, I became acquainted with another woman who just celebrated the release of her first traditionally published novel. She is seventy-four. I, myself, was published for the first time when I was forty-six (Finder, November 2010 from Hadley Rille Books.) At fifty, I wrote my first romance (Seeking Carolina, October 2015 from Kensington/Lyrical Shine.) At fifty one, got another two books contracted with Kensington. Many, many of my writer friends were first published over the age of forty. Put that on the back burner for a moment.
We had a bat in the house the other night. Try as we did to catch it or lure it to one of the opened windows, it just wasn’t getting it. We finally left the windows open and went to bed. The whole thing was a bit harrowing, ending at 3:45 am with the poor little thing injured by my kitties of wonder and squeaking us awake. We managed to capture it and get it outside, but it could only scrabble away. It wasn’t there in the morning, so I’m hoping it eventually managed to fly off. When I reported this adventure on Facebook the next morning, my friend Karin Gastreich commented, “So I’m assuming you’ve looked up the meaning of Bat?”
Medicine Cards are a kind of Tarot based in Native American lore and culture. Karin introduced them to me and all the dollbabies a few years ago in Virginia Beach. It became a staple of our trip. I also ended up buying my own set. They’re a tool when you want to focus your thoughts, and a fabulous meditation tool. It is the Bat in this set of cards Karin referred to.
Long and short–Bat symbolizes rebirth. Change. It asks us to listen to the universe, to our inner selves, and not fight the change, this breaking of old habits. I listened, not just for myself and my household, but applied it to the world around me. And this is why these meditation cards are so wonderful–they make us notice things we might not have.
In my household, we are on the brink of many “rebirths.” The kids are no longer children, and mostly out of the house. For each and every one of them, rebirth is taking place in some form. My oldest daughter leaves life with infants behind for the next phase in their lives. My oldest son is between jobs, and searching for his true path. My youngest son, who’d moved out for a job in a town too far to commute to, decided it was more important to finish his degree. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend of nearly seven years broke up, and she is rediscovering who she is. My stepson embarks upon “life with teens.” His oldest is thirteen this November. And, of course, Frank and I step into a new world of being, for the first time, just the two of us. We got a taste of it during the two months our son lived elsewhere. I can say without qualm that I’m looking forward to empty nest.
But let’s take those over-forty writers off the back burner. It is not just my small world on that moment of change. My dear friend, my new acquaintance–reborn in their seventies. Where else is Bat flying? Another writer-friend who just moved from the town she’d raised her children in to a town across the country. Another friend who just launched her new website. Another friend who is out of work for the first time–at age fifty-eight–since she was a teenager. And yet another friend who finally moved into the new house she and her family had been dreaming of, and working on, for three years.
Of course, I was aware of all these things, but Bat made me aware of them in a different way. A collective way. Change is all around us, all the time. We need to listen to the universe and notice the connections. Honor the changes and how they alter not only our own lives, but those around us.