Symbols and Signs

Sometimes I look for signs. I’m not talking about street signs or signs in a restaurant, but rather the type of signs that tell you if you are supposed to be on a journey or if you should walk the hell away. I’m not alone. Many people will tell you that there are signs given to us every day, we don’t always recognize those signs, but they are in plain sight. We have to be open to looking beyond our noses.  

For example, if you are heading to work one day and find money on the ground, chances are you’re going to take it as a sign that your luck is changing for the better. If someone you used to love that treated you poorly gets a taste of karma, you might see their circumstance as a sign that the universe got your revenge. I’m not condoning this act for the record, but I would be a liar if I said there were some people that I was grateful got a taste of their medicine. Many groups use various symbols as a way of telling stories. Look at any sorority or fraternity, and you’ll see a slew of Greek symbols representing those chapters. While I never pledged Greek, I understand why so many people do. It’s an opportunity to get a leg up on their journeys in the professional world, as well as personally.  

I’m fascinated with the symbols used to decipher scrolls. Information was written by those who were more advanced on some levels than today. Many people are okay with coasting through life. They will tell you they want to go back to school and then develop a million reasons why they can’t. It isn’t until they have an event or sign occur in their lives that they refocus their energy and decide to make changes.  

A few years ago, I was very sick. I coughed a lot. I didn’t have a fever except for a low-grade fever, but I couldn’t get rid of the cough. I wasn’t resting much, my ribs ached from all the coughing, and every time I looked around me, my world had shattered. My father had died, my professional life was questionable, the people I associated with didn’t have much ambition, and life didn’t feel like anything mattered. Then one day, I came home from the doctor, and when I was driving, I saw a dove fly over me. I knew that my life was changing at that moment, and the struggles I faced were not in vain. The life that I knew was evolving into a better version. I began getting my strength back and appreciated things more than I had previously. My sense of smell returned, and I was ready to try new dishes and scents.  

I saw cardinals appear and knew that many people consider cardinals to signify that loved ones since departed were coming to visit. Butterflies became more visible to me than they had in previous years, and I felt alive. It was as if the universe was sending me signs to take me back to my roots.  

These last few years, I’ve evaluated the symbols and signs that I’ve experienced and learned to embrace the difficult times and the joyous ones. So what are some of the signs and symbols you’ve experienced? Here are some common symbols you might not have thought about that we all experience routinely.  

  • THE RIVER. Rivers have an array of meanings. The river contains water vital to life; it also allows us to cleanse ourselves and cool off when burning up. The river carries items through its path and often symbolizes how we may start one place and end up somewhere we didn’t expect.  
  • ICE AND SNOW. Ice symbolizes coldness, rigidity, and stillness, both in humans and in nature. If you are dealing with bosses or difficult people who will not budge to make your life better, you may identify patterns in your life to the ice. The snow may symbolize other things. Snow looks pure when it first covers its surfaces like a blanket. That pureness is something we all find as a newness. It may be a new opportunity or relationship. No matter what, the snow represents a cleansing of sorts until the snow begins melting.  
  • MOUNTAIN. The meeting place of heaven and earth, the mountain symbolizes eternity and our ascent on our life’s journey. Mountains represent the climbs and fall in our lives. It also describes the struggles to reach the top and appreciate the view once we achieve the ascent.    
  • FIRE. My favorite element. Fire is the symbol of destroying the things that hurt us most. It’s also the symbol of passion and gives us the feeling of taking on the world. Fire is inside us, and when provoked, the symbol of fire can be destructive, but it can also be cathartic. Letting go of the things that need to burn is not always a bad thing. Fire is beautiful but deadly. There’s a danger to fire that draws people in because they wish to prove they won’t get burned. Unfortunately, those thoughts are usually incorrect.  
  • TREE.   The tree helps symbolize the air we breathe, and the items the tree produces can signify many things. Fruit trees provide food not just for the stomach but the soul. Floral trees provide beauty at the times they bloom. They offer a refuge for many animals and shade for people. Trees allow for rest, protection, and beauty. In many ways, it symbolizes our lives.  
  • CAVE.  Caves symbolize our need to retreat. They are a place to shield ourselves from the outside world. Cave dwellers used these caves as their homes, and while most of us don’t live in caves, we’ve created mancaves for most men who need a place to chill. That doesn’t mean the women are left out; they too make their relaxing abodes.  

The most important thing we can all do is pay attention to our surroundings. If you don’t believe in signs, that’s fine. But I’ve learned that many things present themselves that I wouldn’t have thought possible. Life is always going to provide symbols and signs, and some of them we’ll recognize quickly, while other times we won’t notice for long periods. That’s okay. Live life to the fullest and never take a day for granted. Have a great day, everyone.  

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