It really didn’t take a sign from above for me to recognize that we are living in a time of great change, but it is validating to get confirmation. I’m not sure how long I drifted in and out of sleep in the pre-dawn murk the other morning, half-hearing an extremely odd noise before I became fully awake and aware. But I did finally give my full attention to a strange, leathery flapping sound. How can flapping sound “leathery”? I think you had to be there. Or have had a bat trapped in your home.
A Bat in the House!!
Yes, it was a bat, flitting about close to the ceiling, diving now and then for a window screen, mesmerizing the cats perched on the table. How to usher a bat out a window in the night? I relied on trust. I pulled a screen out of a very wide-open window and went back to bed, trusting. Trusting that bats know their business, that bats are expert at navigating through openings in the dark. I haven’t seen (or heard) the bat since.
Not wanting such an effort to capture my attention to go to waste, I looked up the symbolic meaning of bats in my trusty Animal Speak book by Ted Andrews. I also looked at The Secret Language of Signs by Denise Lynn. These are my go-to books whenever I encounter an animal or insect or object in an unusual or unexpected way and, I have to say, they are uncannily accurate at getting to the heart of whatever issues I’m facing at the time.
Isn’t the Bat the Issue?? How Did It Get In???
I really have no idea how the bat got into my home, but I see it as a messenger rather than an issue. Bats can show up when we are in a time of uncertainty and unknowing and are in fear about it. Bats know their way around in the dark and we do too, if we go within and trust that we know what to do. Andrews says that “if a bat has flown into your life, then it is time to face your fears and prepare for change” (248). It is time to let go what is no longer serving us and embrace the uncertainty of a new direction.
So Easy to Say!! So Not Easy to Do…
Most change isn’t sudden and decisive and then all done, although some certainly is. Usually, however, change comes toward us sideways, tipping things over, tearing things up, and making a mess. Some part of our life goes from okay to bad to worse. This downward progression can feel like disaster or failure and bring about stress and emotional turmoil. It feels like the farthest thing away from beneficial!
How Can That Be Embraced???
With trust. With knowing that before a new, shiny, wonderful part of our lives can open up, something must be cleared out of our lives. By invoking the echolocation skill of the bat and trusting in our ability to navigate through the darkness. By looking to the way a bat relaxes hanging upside down and considering that there might be an entirely new way to look at our lives. By remembering that bats of legend have the ability to shape shift into an entirely different creature and that we, too, can shift who we are and what our lives are about.
Keep in mind the Rumi quote: “Do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” and find the open window to the other side.