Mom was a free spirit. She was a person of visions. Here is a bit out of her journal:
A totem is given, not chosen. And mine was given by God for his purpose. No one of this society would deliberately chose the turkey vulture for a totem. Egyptians considered vultures holy, but we think them untouchables.
Three times God has given me visions of the vultures. visions whose meanings are clear to me. Once I saw them slicing down a cold north wind on a sun-bleached winter day. When they slowed, the wind would catch at their tails, and they would loop-the-loop. I wonder which one found this trick. Looked like fun.
The other vision I was given twice. Mainly because even now, I look away from the meaning of it. The vultures were swarming in the sky like bees, hundreds of them. There was one who held back. A reasonable thing to do considering how poorly vultures fly. They were flying into each other all the time and falling down out of the sky. It looked scary to me. At last, the one who held back got the courage to enter the melee. I cheered him on. Then, he was gone. When he entered the circle of life, he could no longer be distinguished from the others.
The first vision means I should get out on the winds of life and enjoy life. Even if it is scary, it is great fun. The second, I can make a decision. I can stay an individual and out of it, or I can join the circle of life and be one, no longer different, no longer alone.
Hard decisions for me. Vultures were given to me for a totem. Like them, I don't fly well and it takes me a long time to get up and it's difficult, but once I make it, then I can soar for a very long time.
I hope you find your totem like Mom and it tells you what you need to hear. It feels good in my soul to remember all that she was.
Here is Mom and Dad with my older sister Lee in the spring of 1962.
Here is a detail of one of mom's paintings from when she was a teen.
One last quote for your pocket.
Always something new to learn. Lera Lee Kelly Barlow.