The Re Week


This particular week is my favorite time of year – the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. I call it The ‘Re’ Week because I spend a lot of time doing things that start with ‘re’: review, reflect, and re-evaluate. (Those of us in the retail industry also know this week as the week of returns, but that’s not what this post is about.)

If you’re a friend or family member, or if you’ve been reading this blog a while, you know that I’m a very introverted person. I value time with the people in my life, of course, but I also value time alone, and as an introvert, I need it to recharge. Three times a week I take a fitness walk on a bike and pedestrian path that runs close to our little town, and true to my nature, I usually go alone. It’s my processing time – 45 minutes of pounding the pavement, pondering questions or issues about my life, all the while getting fresh air and a light endorphin rush. I need this time.

Often while I’m walking, cyclists or other pedestrians will pass by me on this well-loved rural path, and I smile and say hello. But one day about a month ago, I had gotten to my half-way turnaround point and realized that I hadn’t seen anyone else out there. It seemed eerie to be the only one on that stretch of the path, even though I enjoyed the solitude. I turned around to head back, and about twenty minutes later I neared my starting point, still having seen no one. But then, about five yards from the end of my walk, I saw her. It was a large female wild turkey, walking on the dirt beside the asphalt path, headed in my direction. She was about three feet tall (or long) and stunningly beautiful. I literally gasped. I’ve heard over the years that the turkey was close to being chosen as our national bird, and that we should be “glad” that the more majestic eagle won out. But let me tell you, as I slowed down in the presence of that amazing creature, all I could think was that the turkey is every bit as impressive as the eagle. I hear people call someone a “turkey” as a deprecating word, something a little gentler than “fool” or “jerk.” And now, having seen one and looked into her eyes, I’ll never think of the word that way again.

I slowed down, in awe, and watched her as she watched me. She kept slowly walking toward me, showing no fear. At first I thought perhaps she was injured, but she seemed to be walking fine, just slowly and purposefully. I swear she looked right into my eyes for a moment as we passed by each other. Then I turned my head and watched as she walked off into the brush.

Intrigued by this encounter, when I got home I tried to find out the symbolism of turkeys, especially hens. I just couldn’t get past the fact that there was no one else on the path that afternoon, and I truly believed that the turkey was some sort of sign for me. I found this great website and discovered that although the turkey (not surprisingly) is a symbol of abundance, it also symbolizes awareness, generosity, and sacrifice. The turkey is a sign of cycles, preparation, and new beginnings. To quote the site: “When a turkey visits us it is a sign that we must be mindful of our blessings [and] a message to express our strength and brilliance…and reveal our true selves.”

And it’s the perfect message for my annual “re” time. I’ll be thinking of the turkey this week as I reflect and review, looking forward to a New Year of greater awareness and a few other things on that list (perhaps even abundance).

Happy New Year, my friends! May it be filled with many blessings and special memories.

*photo courtesy of Wikipedia

18 thoughts on “The Re Week

  1. Elizabeth

    This is so interesting — I never realized any of it and will now look at turkeys differently. I love symbolic moments like these — I take them quite seriously, too.

  2. Karen Weaver

    I am mostly an extrovert however -I’ve been enjoying some alone time with half of my crew away visiting family. Haven’t reflected or planned…just vegged out -which I never do.

    Wishing you and the boys the best in the New Year…looking forward to reading about it.

  3. Macrina Lesniak

    It’s a good thing that bird met you on the path, and not me and Baxter!
    But in all seriousness, turkeys probably are more majestic than eagles. My wildlife biologist friend who lived in AK calls eagles bald buzzards, apparently they’re more “opportunistic” eaters than other “birds of prey”.

  4. Big Daddy

    It is amazing when nature comes up and shows you how amazing the world is. Puts things in perspective for me.

    This post makes me (almost) feel guilty about how much turkey Ive eaten over the past few weeks.

  5. Paulene

    What an interesting encounter.
    Nature is always here to remind us in it’s own special way, happy you received your message.

  6. Lex Savko

    Thanks for linking to such an interesting website! I’m always fascinated by the symbolism behind things. That’s so neat when chance meetings you weren’t expecting reflect your emotional and spiritual state. I guess there are no coincidences!

  7. Jazzygal

    Wow. What an omen. That was a great example of fate! I love your idea of re.week. I too like some alone time when walking.

    This week between Christmas and New Year we usually use to go for a family break to our fav hotel! That’s my opportunity to relax and recharge 🙂

    Happy New Year Tanya…may 2011 be good to you.

    xx Jazzy

  8. Carrie

    I had a dream last night that an eagle landed on my head!

    I forgot it.

    Until I read your post this morning.

    You helped me REmember!

    Happy New Year Tanya!

  9. Christine

    Thanks, loved the post.

    Most people wouldn’t know I am introvert. I love people, but people wear me out. Christmas is hard because time to recharge is so difficult to fit in between the 3rd grade Christmas program and the company party. My kids are home for the next 3 weeks and I am just holding on until I can be alone for even a minute. I am always surprised when I realize how much my son is like me, just in a different way.

    I have never seen a wild turkey, but I have always wanted to. They amaze me, not sure why, maybe it is because I spend so much time outdoors and have seen everything else, just no turkeys. The place I walk has a family of fox(es). Last spring I was trying to fit a walk in between work and a appointment with the school I had been dreading. On my way back down the path two very small foxes sat in the path. I waited for a minute for them to move but I knew I would be late if I took more than a moment. As I moved forward I expected them to move, they sat wide eyed watching me but never moved. It was an experience I will never forget. Something about getting something I didn’t expect gave me the hope to ask for what I wanted for my son even if I doubted they would give it to me.

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