Very superstitious

blogIMG_2743 (2)If I were a superstitious person, I’d be inclined to believe I’m seeing omens here at Mama’s Empty Nest.

In the last couple of years, life has taken a bit of a detour from the usual path. But I chalk that up to life being just…well, life. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way you plan, but I don’t believe that has anything to do with superstitions or luck – good or bad.

A number of days ago while I was sitting at the desktop computer in our home office, my attention was drawn to a red flash crossing in front of the room’s window. Curious about what I may have seen, I slid the rolling chair back from the desk and stood up.

And that’s when I observed it.  The flash was not Superman’s red cape but instead a brightly colored cardinal who flew past the window and now perched in a peculiar spot – the silk yellow forsythia wreath hanging on our front door.  Mr. Red just alighted himself right onto the lower portion of the grapevine wreath form and sat there for a short while, nestled among the fake forsythia.

I slowly maneuvered my way towards my camera to get a photo of him from the inside glass window on the door, but before I could even pluck the camera out of its bag, Mr. Red flew off.

His appearance surprised me.  Birds do not usually fly into the covered front porch area of our house. They’re found at our bird feeder hanging in a tree at the back of the house or strutting along the deck railing taunting the indoor cat.  No signs of a nest being constructed anywhere on our porch either, so why did he land on our front door wreath?

Was he coming for a visit? Hubby and I discussed this unusual occurrence and I flippantly said something about a cardinal representing an angel or something. I had a vague sense that I’d heard that somewhere before.

So of course, I did what anyone with access to the internet does, I googled it.

According to folklore or superstition, if you see a cardinal it represents a loved one who has passed away and is now visiting you.  Apparently just when you need them or miss them most, said loved ones in the form of cardinals appear. Or they visit you during celebratory times or times of distress just to let you know they’re always with you.  Uh huh.

Well, I don’t believe in superstition or old wives’ tales or whatever you want to call such things.

It’s true that there has been some distress in Mama’s Empty Nest in the last year, but seeing a cardinal land on my front door wreath doesn’t necessarily give me comfort.

Sure, it would be great to think that just because that red bird graced my front door, help is on the way. But I don’t think my help comes from that pretty fellow.  My help only comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.

All of this caused me to think about the many superstitious sayings and beliefs that have infiltrated our daily lives.

So I made a quick list of just the ones I could name off the top of my head.  Some of them I learned from my grandmother and some from my mom.

Are you ready?  Don’t be alarmed because I thought of 13 items.  You know, THIRTEEN! That ominous number.  The number when paired with Friday means “watch out for unlucky circumstances to come your way.”

By the way, if you are a person who is afraid of Friday the 13th, you’ll be pleased to know you are a long, hard-to-say-and-spell word – friggatriskaidekophobic. Say that three times quickly if you want good luck. (Just kidding!)

And that’s what is so funny or ironic about that cardinal showing up at my front door.  It happened on Friday, the 13th.  Cue scary music.

But I digress.  Here’s my superstitious list:

  1. Don’t walk under a ladder, it’s bad luck.
  2. Break a mirror – seven years bad luck
  3. Find a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck.
  4. If your ear itches, someone is talking about you.
  5. Step on a crack, you’ll break your mama’s back.
  6. Knock on wood to ward off bad luck.
  7. Don’t open an umbrella in the house – bad luck.
  8. If you find a four-leaf clover, you’ll have good luck.
  9. If your nose is itchy, you’re getting company.
  10. Bad luck comes in threes.
  11. If the palm of your hand itches, you’ll soon receive some money.
  12. If a bird gets into your house, it’s a sign that there will be a death in the family.
  13. Cross your fingers so what you hope for comes true.

I bet you can add many more. Perhaps you even believe in them and are very superstitious. But just thinking about these myths conjures up a song from the early 70’s called “Superstitions” by Stevie Wonder.  

“Very superstitious,
Writing’s on the wall,
Very superstitious,
Ladders bout’ to fall,
Thirteen month old baby,
Broke the lookin’ glass
Seven years of bad luck,
The good things in your past

When you believe in things
That you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way.”

And you know what?  That’s exactly what I think.  Superstitions are definitely not the way.  I don’t believe them. For me, there’s something more rock solid to place my belief and my trust in, and that’s my Savior.

So Mr. Red Cardinal showing up on Friday, the 13th? Perhaps he was just showing other wildlife how to visit my front porch.  It is a pretty nice place to rest for a while.  Just ask the rabbit that hopped up onto it afterwards.  

Yep, a rabbit appeared on my porch just a couple days after the cardinal visit. And you know what they say about rabbits, don’t you?  It’s good luck for a rabbit to cross your path (or perhaps sit upon your front porch). One superstition even says that if you see a rabbit running through your yard it means your garden will be especially fertile this year.

Well, our garden may be productive IF we can keep the bunnies OUT of it.  Maybe they will stick to the front porch instead.  I’ll cross my fingers about that one.

Nah, I think I’ll just keep doing what I need to do.  Take this life and all that goes with it – good or bad – to the Lord in prayer.

“Basically I say a few prayers before a game and let that direct me, not superstitions.” ~ Brian McBride (American soccer player)