Signs

Editor’s note: Following is a page from my spiritual journal.

The calendar read December 2020, the last month of the year and also the end of the fiscal year for our Ninepatch corporation. Over past weeks, treasurer and friend, Georgene and I had exchanged emails nearly every day. She was double- checking information and I was digging out and scanning missing receipts.

I didn’t notice any unusual vibe when I opened her December 27th message. But, after tending business in the first paragraph, my friend broke her news. “I hate to hit you up with this now, but I guess I need to. I’m willing to be the treasurer for one more year but after we close 2020, I’m going to step away from it.”

Bam! Her words hit me square in the gut. Oh no! I can’t keep the books! What’ll I do?

Aiming to calm myself, I paused and took a breath. It’s a sign!

Signs have always ap-peared in my life. At times, they have indicated I was on the “right road.” But other times they said “change direction.”

My problem with these nods or warnings has been two-fold. First, while the sign is clear to me when I look back on my life, I did not notice it back then. Part of that situation is, I didn’t believe in such spiritual matters.

A product of our K-12 and higher education systems, I trusted science, and even math, though I was poor at using num-bers. My life was about filling-in-the-blanks of what teachers and parents expected.

A good student, I be-lieved answers came from edu-cation. I thought my only prob-lem was finding the “right” book or teacher to guide me!

However, the years have shown me a different view. A learned author, speaker or tea-cher may illuminate a spiritual sign for me, but they do not create those indicators. And, of-ten words or images come from other unusual sources. Spiritual signs are personal. They arise from within.

I didn’t understand these matters when I was first out of school and on my own in the 1960s. But one example of signs I do recall is unusual feelings I had a couple of weeks before I was married in 1966. I was not excited. It was something else. What? I asked several older ladies, “Why am I feeling so odd?”

Each smiled and assured me, “It’s only ‘Brides Jitters.’”

Later, on my wedding day, guests were still being seat-ed as my father and I waited si-lently outside the church. When we heard the wedding song, an usher would open the door and we would start down the long, carpeted aisle. In that quiet wait Daddy said to me, “You don’t have to do this, Junior.”

Daddy and me, 1966

Two signs: odd feelings and words from my father. Now I see they meant “change direc-tion.” Too late, then.

A second problem with signs can be misinterpreting them as I had my “Bride’s Jit-ters.” A coincidence, a feeling or a dream can be understood many ways. But others’ under-standings are not commonly val-id. Instead, a seeker must wait, be quiet, do art, pray, walk, jour-nal and be open to what comes.

This can be difficult. Time can be short and/or I can be ill-prepared to understand meanings.

Both were true of Daddy’s words and “Bride’s Jitters.”

Now, four decades later, past experiences would be ready to guide me with interpreting the sign in Georgene’s message. I closed the computer and sat looking around my desk at all my Ninepatch materials. Maybe it’s time to end the newsletter. I’ve published for … I stopped a moment to figure. Twenty-six years!

Standing, I gazed out the window by my computer. Look-ing toward the house next door, without seeing it, I tried to envis-ion my life without the news-letter. I reviewed my monthly activities.

I contacted a few writers, wrote and edited stories, letters and poems, then sent proposals. I also prepared layouts for each month’s issue. Once complete, I copied it for mailing and also made an e-issue as well as a format for the web page. All this I sent near the first of each month. What might I do instead?

I blinked and scolded myself. Looking into the future is not working with a sign. I need to go about my usual business but be open to what comes.

At the Ninepatch Board meeting in February this year, Carol (Mar.’20) Georgene (Mar.’20) and I discussed the idea of closing the corporation, but continuing the newsletter. Georgene pointed out we don’t need to be a “business.” Carol agreed the newsletter could go on.

Before I even had the minutes written, I got a message from Lynn who posts our news-letter to our web site every month. She explained reasons she would not be able to con-tinue on as our webmaster.

Another sign! All point to changes ahead for Ninepatch. Exactly what that will mean is unclear. I will wait and watch for further guidance.

Frances Fritzie

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