Posts Tagged ‘Sleeping Bear Dunes’

Sleeping Bear Dunes and Birthday Owls

This will be a longer post with lots of photos and dreamlike synchronicities. If you don’t like that sort of thing, you’ve been forewarned! Please feel free to pass over this one. For those of you who do like that sort of thing, here’s some of the story surrounding my birthday getaway to Sleeping Bear Dunes, about three hours north of us.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore seen from Empire Bluff

David and I did what we sometimes do — where we leave home Saturday morning and arrive back home Sunday evening. We find the energy up near Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes so recharging that a single overnight feels like weeks of restoration. We usually stay in Traverse City but this time opted to stay at the M22 Inn at Suttons Bay. I didn’t think anything of it when I booked the reservations, because I simply clicked the link David sent me as a recommendation from his former coworker. When we got there, though, I recognized the synchronicity of M22 since my birthday is May 22.

The number 22 continued to show up throughout our trip, and not just because of Michigan’s famous Route M22. I also saw it on a woman’s sport sweatshirt, on mugs all around town, and a shopkeeper made a point of saying she and her husband “purchased this shop last Fall because of its 22 year success rate.” (More on that shop later!)

On Saturday, we had a decadent lunch at Poppycock’s and then wandered various shops in Traverse City. The energy felt a bit off to both of us, like we had grown beyond our former “happy place.” We haven’t been there since October 2019, which was also a good, but spooky weird trip!

This past week brought forth some very old energies that seem related to the upcoming New Moon. I sensed I was on the right track to pull a metaphorical Blue Angels maneuver rather than crash and burn, but the off energies in Traverse City encouraged me to do a birthday check-in on the way to the hotel. Unbeknownst to David, I said in my head, “OK, owls, I feel like I’m walking in the right direction, but I could use a sign to confirm that. Please let me know if I’m walking in the right direction and that I’m interpreting my dreams correctly.”

(In order for the rest of this post to make sense, you need to know that I have a long history with owls. They’re my totem animal, and they tend to appear as helpers and at major decision points in my life. When I see them, I know I’m on the right track. I’ve written about synchronous owls many times since an experience I had while recovering from my 1998 TBI, and a bunch of my owl stories are featured in their own chapter of Mike Clelland’s book “Stories from the Messengers.”)

Immediately — and I mean the very next moment — after asking the owls to confirm if I’m walking in the right direction, I turned my head to the right and saw a huge owl weather vane with an arrow pointing in the direction we were driving. “OK, message received! Thank you.” I thought that was the end of it. I got my confirmation. Now I could move on with the birthday celebration.

We arrived at the hotel, and I discovered that our accommodations turned into a little cabin facing the woods. It was just across the street from the Bay, so lots of water energy, but the door and window faced the woods. This building stood apart from the rest of the hotel, which had rooms lined up next to each other. Instead, we got the “cabin” I had really wanted to stay in for my birthday. It had wooden floors and rustic furniture, and the very same bedspread I put in one of the guest rooms of the Blue House I rented as an office, classroom and overnight lodging space for students, back when we lived in Goshen.

This felt like a magical blessing so soon after seeing the owl weather vane pointing in the direction we were already heading. The energy of our trip heightened to an almost giddy level. We decided to eat dinner in Suttons Bay, and it took awhile to get in somewhere. We got there just after 6 p.m., so all the stores were closed, but we window shopped as we waited for a text telling us our table was ready. Directly across from the restaurant, we saw this scene outside a store:

You can see how the area was roped off, but without going further in to the store’s entrance, we still saw a LOT of owls! I thought to myself, “Ohhhhhhh-kay! Thanks, Guys, message received 100-fold.” We didn’t plan to return to Suttons Bay the next day since we wanted to hike the Empire Bluff trail at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Again, I figured this was the end of this trip’s owls, because, wow, that was a lot of owls!

We had a hilarious dinner, the details of which I’ll spare you, but again, we remained giddy — grateful for our getaway and noting how even things that quasi-disappointed us somehow served as huge confirmation of our prior decisions. We thought of risks we took, as well as times we calculated not to do things. This trip confirmed a bunch of those, and we continued feeling more and more grounded, alongside our giddiness. As we walked past the store on the way to our car, David said, “Eventually, you’ll fall in love with one of those owls and bring him home with you.” I thought this was an odd thing to say, but kept that to myself.

The morning of my birthday, 5/22, I awoke from one of the most beautiful, affirming and joyful dreams I’ve ever had. I recorded that while David slept in, and then we had some organic gluten-free quiche we’d picked up the day before from Oryana Cafe at the Traverse City food co-op. Amazing stuff! While we ate, David surprised me by saying we would stop in Suttons Bay this morning, because, “You need to get one of those owls.”

I protested, saying, “I’m at Manifest Destiny with stuff. I don’t even know where I’d put it,” but David convinced me to go and at least check out the store. We walked up the pathway, and my mouth hung open:

It wasn’t just hundreds of owls — there were thousands of them! I said a quick, “If I’m meant to get one, make it obvious.” One owl stood off by itself, and my eye fell to it right after that request. I picked him up but then decided to put him down and take a photo to show my mom, who also loves owls. It’s the 8″ tall one in front. His face is so sweet that I couldn’t resist bringing him home.

We entered the store, and I saw more and more owls:

The store has all kinds of items in it, but everywhere I looked, my eyes landed on owls. As we checked out, we spoke with the shop owner who told us she and her husband purchased the store due to its 22 year long success rate. She said, “The owls carry the store.”

Eventually, we made our way to Sleeping Bear Dunes and started our hike. The name comes from a Native American myth, and this whole area feels steeped in those energies. David took a photo of me, and the shadows hitting my face shapeshifted me to an American Indian look. Normally, I’m a super pale white girl with red hair, so this image startled me.

We continued our walk through the magical woods. I felt a strong Faery presence right before seeing this Green Man stump:

David took some other photos of me along the way.

I really wanted a photo of us together, but he said, “I prefer being the man of mystery on your blog.” I reminded him that he has appeared on occasion, but he still said no. Then another couple approached us, and the woman cheerfully offered to take our photo together. We couldn’t refuse her smile, so we got this rare shot of us on Empire Bluff:

We hiked a little further, then wound our way back through the woods. I came upon this tree, and thought, “This is an owl spot. Owls hang out here. … You know, it would be REALLY affirming to see an owl in a tree — if it’s not too much trouble.”

I immediately heard in my head: “Look to your left.”

I turned and walked a few meters down a little path to my left and saw this:

As one of my friends said when I showed her these photos: “That’s LITERALLY seeing an owl in a tree! Spirit is hilariously « on the letter » sometimes!”

Uh huh.

The synchronicities continued, but I think you get the idea. 🙂 On our drive home, David and I commented on what a magical getaway we’d had. Just then, I happened to glance at the stereo, which seemed to agree:

When we arrived home, I had birthday gifts, cards and a Free People package awaiting me. The cards turned out to be owl cards, as did some of the presents. I opened the Free People package to find a belt I’d ordered awhile back. I folded it up vertically and did a double take:

Believe it or not, this was just a quick summary of some of the owl signs and synchronicities on my birthday weekend. All in all, I’d have to say I received STRONG confirmation from the owls that I’m “walking in the right direction.” It was a magical birthday and a lovely time away with David. I’m so grateful for my bizarre and blessed life!

Sleeping Bear Dunes and Traverse City Getaway

In honor of both of our birthdays, plus my 21-year TBI anniversary between them, David and I took a long weekend getaway to Sleeping Bear Dunes and Traverse City, Michigan. We visited Traverse City last October, but we’d never been to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Friday graced us with perfect hiking weather — sunny and mid-upper 50’s. The wind made it difficult to take clear photographs, but we managed to capture some of our time there.

The path to Empire Bluff felt like Faerie, and everyone leaving the bluff flashed big smiles and expanded hearts. For my part, I couldn’t stop smiling the moment we entered the green:

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White Trillium blankets the woods of Sleeping Bear Dunes at this time of year …

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… and any clearings offer stunning views, shown here through David’s eyes: Continue reading