It was a brilliant, sunny Saturday morning in 1980, and I was driving along a snow-covered country road in the Ottawa Valley. My mood didn't match the passing scenery. Lost in thought about this's and that's and what to do about them all, I barely noticed it at first. A large white football with wings? Oh dear God, an owl! Not just any owl, a Snowy Owl. Practically floating just inches above the hood of my car, its wings steadily beating, and going the exact same speed as me! I have no idea where he came from, but I immediately felt connected and comforted.
Deep inside a childhood memory awoke of my Mother reciting, "A wise old owl sat in an oak/The more he saw the less he spoke/The less he spoke the more he heard/Now wasn't he a wise old bird?" That little nursery rhyme has stayed with me forever, and the wise old owl has been my "spark bird". My Mom had died the previous year, and I believed immediately that this stunning owl, pacing me all the way down the road was a message from her. There were no words. Just peace. That road is about 3 km long, and that bird stayed above the right front part of the car the entire way 'til I had to slow and make a turn, at which point it drifted off across the field and over the horizon. I pulled over and wept.
He flew off then, and I drove away having just been given a gift that I would cherish always.