I’ve been thinking about a lot of things, and it’s only 9:10 a.m. The summer, like the day, is early, and we just returned from a week in Ohio. We did the things you do in Ohio: we ate at Skyline and La Rosa’s, we went to the Air Force Museum and Carillon Park (where I used to be a bright young thing of a tour guide all through high school), Xander and Gary went with my father in law to a Reds game. We swam and we played bingo. It was nice.
Yesterday we returned to 90+ degree temperatures, so we took a protesting and coming down with a cold Xander to the fountains downtown, and to the new bookstore near the square. For whatever reason a sour mood lingered, like a cloud of mustard gas over us, but it eventually dissipated and receded and we went home.
I keep asking for signs from the Universe. I’m very good at this, back when we were hemming and hawing over our move to Alaska I kept looking to the stars and the ground for answers. I had a job that I l-o-v-e-d working in the children’s room of the library downtown, Gary’s work was slowly dwindling due to the recession but he had just finished a stint as Best Boy on a film that brought him a lot of joy, pride, and camaraderie. But still. We were being pulled upwards by our hair. I asked God, the Universe, and Everything for direct lightning bolt signs of truth and affirmation. Shake the Magic 8 Ball. You may rely on it.
One day during my lunch hour at the library I was thinking that our dilemma was particularly quixotic and idiotic,; why on Earth should we do something so bold and so vague? We didn’t even have jobs up there, it was cold up there, we would have to sell our house and the majority of our belongings, we’d be leaving our families (who were only a 4-5 hour drive away if we stayed down South), our son was just a little guy, why in the world would we yank him away? I decided to walk the stone labyrinth path at the Episcopal church courtyard next to work. In my head I simply asked the Universe the question: Alaska? Alaska? Alaska? When I reached the end of the circular maze, it was time to return to work. I left the quiet courtyard, filled with magnolias and stained glass and a koi pond, turned the corner, and almost collided with a big parked truck, butt up against the curb.
Its bumper was angled a bit, and the license plate caught my eye. Tennessee’s plates are white and green. The truck’s was the unmistakable golden-yellow of an Alaska license plate. Alaska. A truck from Alaska, parked right in front of me, right after I asked and asked the Universe whether we should move there over, and over again. I mean really, how often does one see Alaska plates this far South? Almost never, and that’s why they stick out.
Signs from the Universe. I am usually pretty deft at spotting them and being open to them. The past few days, I’ve been scouring the ground and the sky for them again. Although this time my questions are vaguer and more philosophical. They mainly involve writing, and direction, and what path to take. The signs that have returned have been even vaguer, really. I think I just need to listen and look a bit closer.