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Kingfisher image sourced in CanvaPro

I indulged in a little bibliomancy today. It’s something I do regularly but today it had another purpose, as I needed a break from re-organizing my bookshelves, so I set my alarm, saying to myself “at alarm ring, the book in hand will have my Medicine”. It’s always good to frame the ritual! 

I continued working, so immersed in the book sorting that I forgot about the time. When the alarm rang out, I was holding An Anthology of Verse published by Oxford University Press, one of my English textbooks in Grade 13 (a grade that no longer exists in Ontario, where I attended high school).

And yet, I ramble. I feel a little “out of focus” at present due to a medication-related brain fog (for my lingering sciatica). It has been challenging to hold a thought at times, as I jump and leap around wherever my mind takes me. But I must confess that in some ways I’ve rather liked it! My brain now sees things I didn’t before, makes new and different connections, and I gain a new perspective on many things.

I looked down at the book, and loved how I was holding a book of poetry. I have been delving into some of my favourite poems recently. Would they still be favourites? Would they sing to me? Would I gain new insights? 

I passed my hand along the edges of the pages to see what page would asked to be opened. The page held a single poem, Kingfishers and British Columbia by Malcolm Lowry. 

I had no recollection of ever reading the poem, although I’ve always felt a bit of a connection to Lowry, based primarily on geography. He was born near Liverpool, England (my birthplace) and lived for many years here in British Columbia, near Vancouver on the Maplewood mud flats on the Burrard Inlet. It was while Lowry lived here that he published “Under The Volcano”, perhaps his best-known work.

And yet I digress again… leaping about in my thoughts, in the brain fog. I felt transported to the last time I visited Maplewood Flats, now a bird conservation area, and how I would love to visit it again for a little birdwatching and to connect to the plants there.

And then I read the first stanza, captured in the photo, and felt the familiar surge of electricity that says to me “there is medicine here for you”. 

I felt an immediate connection with kingfisher, as I too go rocketing about in my own personal fog. Some see the kingfisher as a creature of focus, so perhaps that is the medicine. I also love that it is creature of liminal spaces… equally at home in both Land and Sky… and in the mudflats of Earth and Water.  For me, the liminal spaces are always a source of wisdom and connection to the spiritual realms of Land, Sea and Sky.

I will journey with kingfisher, perhaps out at Maplewood Flats, perhaps here at home, and see what medicine Kingfisher has for me. 

And perhaps I will reclaim my halcyon days.

Maplewood Flats on a dreary winter day
Kingfishers in British Columbia
by Malcolm Lowry

A mad kingfisher
rocketing about in the
red fog at sunrise  

now sits 
on the alder
post that tethers the floats
angrily awaiting his meat.
Here she

comes, like a left wing
three-quarter cutting through toward
the goal in sun-limped
fog at Rosslyn park at half 
past three in halcyon days.

Soul Work

Have you tried bibliomancy?
What significance does Kingfisher have for you?

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