The Kookaburra, also known as the laughing Kookaburra, is a Native Australian bird famous for its unusual call. Unlike the sweet tweet of a canary, the Kookaburra’s territorial call is better described as a big cackle. I have always loved them and in recent years they have played a significant role in my life. The following stories beg belief and I don’t blame you if you put them all down to coincidence. I prefer however to think that life speaks to me in all kinds of wonderful ways, as it does to you.
My Grandmother, whom I affectionately called ‘Nanna’, died several years ago. She was sick for many years and although we were all prepared for the worst, the day she passed felt as though it came much too soon.
My Grandmother was the matriarch of our family and we all felt very much lost without her. She was warm, witty and had an irresistible sense of humour. She was a strong woman and only after she died did I learn of all the ways she gave selflessly to the community. The kitchen was her haven and she was a master baker. I dearly miss her famous Christmas pudding and Passion fruit Cheesecake. According to my Grandmother, sugar gave you energy, cream was a good source of calcium and butter, well that just made everything taste better.
Soon after my Grandmother passed, my Grandfather noticed a baby Kookaburra would come and visit him every afternoon. In no time at all he began feeding his newly found friend. When my Grandfather told us about his cheerful encounter, we all suggested it was Nanna making sure he was okay. It made us all happy to know he found comfort in this new daily event.
The first Mother’s Day after my Grandmother passed, the entire family came together to visit my Grandfather and honour our dearly missed Nanna. My grandparents lived on a river and we all decided to have a picnic by the water. When we arrived down to the picnic area my Mother called out “where should we set everything up?”; As if from out of nowhere, a beautiful big Kookaburra flew down and sat under the shade of one of the biggest trees. We knew immediately that was the place. We acknowledged the synchronicity. Whether it was the spirit of my Grandmother or not, we some how felt connected to something greater.
If that was not enough for me to read the signs, the next encounter had me convinced. My husband and I were facing a challenging time due to a health concern he had and we were considering making a sea change. I was so worried and confused, as I was driving home one day I said out loud “Nanna I am so confused, please tell me what we should do”. As I approached our street, I gasped in amazement and could hardly believe my eyes; There sitting proudly on our street sign was a magnificent, almost ethereal looking, Kookaburra. I knew immediately there was no need for us to move and that everything would be okay.
Today we rarely go to a park without meeting a Kookaburra and every now and then one sits in the big Eucalyptus tree outside our back door. My children affectionately call every Kookaburra they see ‘Grandma’ and in some ways it is comforting for them also. Though it may all be wishful thinking, I see every encounter as a magical whisper from another dimension.
I believe Life is constantly trying to talk to us in a language we can understand. Have you ever turned on the radio and the words of a song seem to speak to you personally? Or had your attention drawn to a book and picked it up only to discover it offered you answers to something you had been questioning. Think about that feeling you have when your awareness stumbles across these magic moments, you know it must be more than pure coincidence, but your not sure what it is, it is Life. It is that source of life that we are all connected to and I believe our soul remains connected even beyond our physical existence. It is why so often we hear people saying they feel their loved ones close even when they are gone.
Life is magic and when we open our mind, heart and soul to the possibility that there is more to this world than meets the eye; we may discover a whole new reality we could never see before.
I will never stop missing my Grandmother but from now until that time comes when we are in the clouds together, I will look to the trees and listen out for the famous cackle of a Kookaburra and know she is nearby.
Love and magic