the story of the feathers

There’s one thing I know for sure: Moments of grace appear in my life exactly when I need them. Some are completely unexpected and rather spectacular (my husband), while others slip in gently, as if content to go unnoticed.

A recurring phenomenon is the appearance of feathers in my world. It’s become quite a thing, in fact; feathers seem to appear just when I need a gentle reminder that I am a child of God, that I am loved, that the universe has my back. (There are many, many examples, dating back several years, and I started this blog, in part, to chronicle them.) The following is a post I wrote in September of 2011. It still gives me chills.


MY DAUGHTER BEGAN her freshman year in college just two weeks ago. On the second day after dropping her off (and coming home without her), I found myself in deep mourning for the dramatic change taking place in my life. It was an emotion that caught me by by surprise—and after inexhaustible tears, I offered a deep and soulful prayer for help making my way out of the deep emptiness I felt.

The next morning I awoke to find this scene just out my kitchen window, in the pond behind our house.

What on earth is that, I thought, taking another sip of my coffee. I threw on some clothes, grabbed my camera, and headed across our damp yard to investigate. Is that…  Surely it’s not…  Can it be…   

It took a moment to catch my breath. One feather, and then another, and then another, in every direction, as far as I could see.

The tears flowed, again. But this time they were different—these were filled with relief and joy and promise. And so I offered one more deep and soulful prayer.

This time, it was a prayer of gratitude.



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16 thoughts on “the story of the feathers

  1. Our grand girls love feathers! They appear just as you say. These feathers are always a reminder to me that your mom still has all of my answers but she is just waiting for me to figure it out. A feather is her compliment to say “see, you knew that”.
    I am always with you! She will always remain my angel who is always around.

  2. Hello Cathy:
    I too received hints from the Universe; and they are 2 pennies at times. Moreover, Angles Feathers show up out of no where for me, when I am stressful. But a warm feeling comes over my body when I have these experiences. …

    Thanks for the wonderful writing.
    L. Cornell Pearson

  3. Cathy: I feel like I have found a kindred spirit. Your story of waking to discover your pond covered in feathers is very touching, and it affirms the loving acts that I see The Lord doing in the world as well. He is so good and his love is way beyond what we could ever imagine or even know how to wish for, and he is constantly with us. I believe God has placed his angels all around us and that they are helping and protecting us every moment. In our humanity, we are called to carry on without seeing the spiritual realm but through the eyes of faith we catch hints of it. Your feathers are a perfect example of the depth, compassion, and humor of the Divine Love. Thanks for writing and for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Pringle. What a lovely thing it is to be connected to you. Thank you for your gorgeous writing and honest perspective on My new favorite, for sure.

  4. found your post from today shared on facebook. i came to read the about page. i had to share that what feathers are for you in your life, yellow flowers (and even some weeds, namely dandelions) are in the life of my husband. he has a horribly sad story i won’t relate, but he sees God’s love, promise and hope in those innocuous little things so many people put so much effort into eradicating from their yard. in the dead of winter, before the grass had even started to green again, on a particularly hard day there were dandelions all over our path. it’s one of those little miracles you just can’t dismiss in every day life. i wish you many feathers on your darkest days to show you the way and the light.

  5. What a beautiful story! I remember the day too well…..dropping our son off at USC as a freshman. I sobbed the whole way home while our younger son sat in the back seat letting me know that his big brother was only five miles down the road. The book, The Power of the Praying Parent, along with the workbook was my saving grace! Thank you for sharing your story!

  6. You would love the feathers I “accessorized” and put in Isabelle’s hair this morning. For her, the feathers were just more items to adorn her American Indian costume for today’s special lunch at school. I believe she should wear them in her hair every day. Something about feathers are so ethereal, just like her.

  7. i love it, it show the they(God and his angels) knows what you are going throught, and they send you some comfort, to let you know you are loved and not alone, well done

  8. I love your feather stories and how God uses them as a constant reminder to you of His love. Makes me wonder how many signs He sends all of us that we may be too busy to see.

  9. Cathy, I loved your story. I can tell you that it does get easier with time. And the next thing you know, you and your daughter are driving home after she graduates and the tears start again because you’re going to miss visiting her at school. Well, at least that’s what happened to me 😉

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