Dripping wet, I stood in line with my arm around an inflatable inner tube, excited to get another thrill on one of the water park rides at Morey’s Pier, in Wildwood, NJ. As I waited for my turn, I watched the incoming waves in the Atlantic Ocean hit the wide beach from atop a concrete and steel staircase, feeling a sense of bubbling joy. I was having an honest to goodness, smile plastered on the face, kind of fun. By the end of the day, with my rubbery legs refusing to climb another step, I realized that this kind of fun was a missing ingredient in my life—but not anymore, fun-time for Shelley was here to stay.
“It’s my birthday today,” a young voice said. The lilting sound of the voice took me right out of my daydreaming.
I turned around and found a petite girl standing in line behind me. Her short dark hair framed her dainty face, curling like branches around her gentle, brown eyes. “And how old are you?” I asked.
“Ten.” She had overheard me talking to my son, Pieter, and joined in on our conversation. He wanted me to ride with him on one of the steepest rides, trying hard to convince me, but I wouldn’t budge. I was too scared to ride something that dropped 90 degrees, fearing that I would somehow fly off. She put her hand around my arm and said, “Don’t be afraid.”
That gesture melted my heart. “What’s your name?” I said.
“Hayley,” she replied. “You remind me a lot of my mom.”
“Guess what,” I said, catching my breath, “I’m writing a book about a girl named, Hayley, and she’s ten years old.”
Can you say, magic?
Let me back up a bit. Recently, I’ve been struggling with writing my novel, The Oghalon Chronicles (tentative title), due the fact that it was a harder project than I had first realized (bit off more than I could chew), and the subsequent fears that come with wanting to be a published writer. Am I good enough? Will the book ever be published? Am I on the right path? You know the deal. So often we have doubts about following our dreams because obstacles can rise up like a wall and appear insurmountable.
Yesterday, as I was walking along the sidewalk near my apartment, I overheard a ruckus of birds in the bushes across from me. Then a large hawk flew out of the bushes and alighted on the tree close by. Not missing a trick, I knew that Hawk was telling me to pay attention to messages coming my way. But it wasn’t until the young girl, Hayley, mentioned her name that I understood what Hawk was trying telling me, which was a clear message from the Universe that I am on the right path, and to continue.
To reinforce this message even further, on the drive home, a Raccoon dashed in front of my car. Sadly, I clipped it, but the message from Raccoon to me was this; In spite of any doubts that you may have, the resources you need for the current situation are readily available (Steven Farmer, Animal Spirit Guides, page 315).
Synchronicity and symbolism are my guiding lights these days, and when magical things like this happen to me, I’m grateful and inspired to keep on keeping on.