In honor of the 1-year anniversary of my friend Karina's passing, and in celebration of her life, I'm going to tell you a story about Magic. Now, this isn't just some fantasy fairy-tale, this is real-life capital “m” - Magic. The Magic that Karina believed in and that she created with her life.

So, a few days ago, I decided that on August 3 (today), the day that I received the horrific news exactly 1 year ago, I would go for a run. Running is definitely not one of my favorite pastimes, but I’ve been working on changing that. Karina wasn't just "a jogger", she wrote about running as the thing that made her feel her most strong, her most sexy, and the most alive. You can read her stunning writings at KarinaVee.com. And so, with my friend in mind, I committed to run.

I finally left my house, at 4:03 PM, after procrastinating all day, which had been a very hot, but fair-weathered day. And then, after I was just a few minutes out the door, it starts raining! Now, I don't know about other people, I imagine for some this might be somewhat of an annoyance. But for me, it was more like… “Yessss! RAIN!” It wasn’t a torrential downpour - just a drizzle. I started thinking, how it was such perfect timing for it to start raining, right after I started my run!

I was already boiling up, and the feeling of those droplets from the sky, was like sprinkles of relief, falling on my sizzling skin. The feeling also opened up this ultimate presence in me, which got me past the thoughts of “ugh, running! It’s too hot! I can’t do this. I’ve had enough! I’m done!” So I began to look around and appreciate my surroundings; the trees, the air, the steam rising off the concrete road.

And as I kept on running, and panting, and sweating, I felt the pitter-patter of the raindrops on top of my head. And when I looked up at the sky, I felt those sweet, cool kisses, all over my face.

And then, suddenly, I remembered. I realized the reason I was out there in the first place and knew it no lucky coincidence - it was a gift, straight down from Karina. I couldn’t help but burst into laughter. And as I continued to run, and the rain got heavier, memories poured into my head, including the times we went and ran together. One time, probably 10 years ago, we went to her favorite spot, by the water under the Cross Island Pkwy. I couldn’t keep up with her, of course, but she would loop back to make sure I was still hanging in. Another time, we ran at my favorite spot, Forest Park. I remember how she had bumped into another runner, an elderly man, and went off on a sprint with him. I was always impressed by her openness, her magnetism, and the way she lived with such a joyful presence and freedom.

In that moment, I could literally feel the spirit of my friend, running right there next to me. And she gave me the gentle push, to run just a little longer than I would have on my own. While I was on my return back home, probably about 15 minutes later, the rain cleared. Just like that. As I walked toward my house, before crossing the street, I noticed a black feather (picture attached) stuck between the tall grasses. Normally, I would’ve let it be, but something told me to take it. When I got home, I googled the significance, for lo and behold, yet another amazing sign:

 

“You’re being protected by someone you loved and lost

It seems like someone you loved and lost is watching over you and protecting you. The appearance of a black feather may suggest that a little negativity is heading your way, but with the help of this special someone, you’ll get through any rough patches and emerge stronger than ever before.

You’re not alone

We all have times in our lives where we can feel overcome with a sense of loneliness or isolation. It’s perfectly natural to feel this way and more often than not, these negative emotions will soon pass us by. Although you might not realize it, a spirit is watching over you and encouraging you through life. This spirit could belong to a loved one who died recently or it could be your guardian angel.

A sense of clarity is on its way

Are you struggling to make a big decision? Perhaps you’re at a crossroads in life and you don’t know which path to take. If you stumble across a black feather, it could be a sign that clarity is on its way. You’ll need to use your intuition so you can follow the path you’re most drawn to. If you find a black feather when thinking about embarking on an exciting but scary adventure, it could have appeared to give you a nudge to take the leap. After all, you’re being protected by someone you loved and lost.”

 

     You could easily say that anything is coincidence, but I choose to shift my perspective to the bigger picture and see the wonder. I share this story with hopes that it touches you and allows you to find your connection with a loved one who has passed on. Most of all I felt compelled to write this to thank Karina for the reminders: to honor our guardian angels and spirit guides; to look for the synchronicities and the Magic; and to find the meaning, in every moment. Thank you for continuing to grace me with your Magic, and your strong, joyful presence, both in life and afterlife.

 

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