“I’m sorry ma’am, could you repeat that?”
“I said, you may not realize it now, but you have your work cut out for you” she said brightly.
The little woman was sixty if she was a day, and dressed like something straight out of an advertisement for ‘new age living.’ Flowy skirt, tunic, leather boots laced to her knees, her almost white hair tied back with a scarf and enough dangly jewelry to open her own shop.
I glanced down at my daughter, thinking she was talking about her. My angel baby. Even at two years old she rarely gave me any problems; unless of course I was trying to feed her beets. I looked back, confused.
“Good heavens, not the baby!” said the woman, rolling her eyes and reaching out to ruffle my daughter’s hair. The movement set all the bracelets on her arm to clinking and clacking. I’d never seen so many bracelets on one arm before; stones in every color and shape, leather bands with letters engraved on them; a cuff that looked like a copy of an Egyptian piece.
“She’ll be fine. She’s been here lots of times, haven’t you beautiful?” she said, laughing gently. To my surprise, my daughter, usually very reserved around strangers, grinned at her and said “all!” For some reason this made the woman laugh again.
“See?” she said, looking back at me. “She’ll be fine. No, I was talking about you.”
“Yes, you. You’ve hidden it all away, haven’t you?” she said shaking her head.
I scowled at her, not liking where this was headed. There was no way she could know about what I'd walked away from.
She reached out a finger and touched the point between my eyebrows. “Up here – you locked it all away and refuse to let it out. Like I said, you have you work cut out for you.” She sighed, and then her look turned sad.
“Right now you think I’m nuttier than a fruit cake, and that’s allright” she said with a small, wistful smile. “But you’ll remember this one day, probably after it happens, just remember what I’m telling you now.
When you come to your Saturn Return everything you’ve tucked away up here,” she tapped me between the eyebrows again, “will make itself heard and you’ll have to make a choice.” She paused, took a deep breath then said, “when you come to that point you’ll either have to chose to continue on as you are,” she shuddered slightly “or you’ll have to completely reassess everything and become the person you were meant to be.”
She turned her head sideways then, looking at me sharply, and I remember thinking how much she looked like a little bird; a bird looking curiously at something shiny she’d found on the ground.
“They’re going to try to keep you from waking up though I think, they’re going to try hard. It’s important that you fight them.” She straightened her head then, gave a sharp little nod as if something had met with her approval, and then gave herself a shake, causing all her baubles to jangle again.
Then she turned on her heel and walked away, all the material of her skirts and tunic and scarf sort of fluttering behind her. None of it had made sense. Silly new age clap trap. Somewhere beneath the surface of my mind memories of when I’d been a kid started bubbling towards the surface, but I put a lid on that quickly. That was over. Done with. Besides, she’d said it. She was nuts.
“Mom-mom-mom” my daughter was patting my face now, trying to get my attention. “mom – mom, write!” she said, frowning at me.
“write lady!” she said again, then reached down and patted my purse where I always kept my journal so that I could record random thoughts and odd things that happened to me. I remember writing it all down while my daughter sat pulling all the books off of the “geology” shelf, stacking them in piles, and then putting them back on the shelf again. The little bird-woman’s bizzare behavior joined all the other oddities in my journal, and eventually the journal joined its fellows in a rubbermaid box in the attic.
It wasn’t until I was sorting through the boxes about two years after I’d gone through my own Saturn Return (though I didn’t know then that it was called that) that I found the journal again – and re-read the incident. So much had happened in the five years since that little woman had spoken to me. Curious I went to work researching the term she’d used.