Let me tell you a story...
I've taken on a redesign of my website, partly a response to the need to change a lot of things as a result of GDPR laws (about data protection and privacy for users, particularly in the EU) which take effect on May 25, 2018, and partly because it's fun!
During this process, I decided to create a new logo, which sounds simple--but for me it's always a challenge. How to create a logo that helps with my author brand while still giving you something about the books? I've tried all kinds of things, and there was never anything that really spoke to me. I've gone through iterations with medieval weapons, fantasy creatures, swirls, text, stars, and most recently, a single letter icon.
With this recent makeover, I sat for a moment and tried to think about my branding on a broader scale. I wanted an image that meant something, but was also nice to look at. It needed to be about more than the books. I wanted to it say something about me. And then I remembered the sparrow.
Flashback to October 2014, which is the night I hit "publish" on my first book. We were visiting at my mother-in-law's place in NY. I was really nervous and second-guessing my decision to go indie and self-publish my work. What if it sucked? What if it failed? Do I have what it takes to run this thing as an author AND a publisher? I stayed up all night watching the sales and wondering what the heck I was supposed to do next. (Hint: the answer was write the next book!)
When I woke mid-morning the room was bright. I opened my eyes and saw a sparrow circling the bed above my face. An actual, real, flying sparrow. Indoors. In October.
I blinked and literally rubbed my eyes in disbelief. It flew across the far side of the bedroom and back to me as I sat up. I got out of bed and closed the door to keep the bird inside the bedroom. My mother-in-law's house has sash windows that you can open from the top or the bottom. I lowered the upper window and shooed the sparrow toward the window. It bumped the walls in the corner a couple of times and finally perched on the window. Then it looked at me and took off.
I've had close encounters with animals ever since I was a kid. There was the tiny thimble-sized baby mouse that stared me down on the front step of my apartment building in the Bronx, a huge antlered buck that appeared almost out of nowhere when I was at my cousin's house in the Catskills, lots of elk, and a big-horn sheep once. Each time it feels special, and almost as if the animal and I break out of time for an interval to share this moment of eye contact and shallow breathing.
But something about this sparrow encounter felt almost magical. I looked up Sparrow Animal Medicine and loved what it said. You can laugh... but it felt like a sign to me that all my worries were unfounded and that if I could be like sparrow, I'd be just fine.
The small but proud sparrow is one of the most common birds. However, it is often overlooked, its power taken for granted. Although it is small, the sparrow animal totem is both powerful and productive. It’s persistence and integrity shows us that we do not have to be big to make a difference. We also do not need to have the biggest and best things in order for our voices to be heard.The sparrow symbolism reflects the self-worth that each of us should feel for ourselves regardless of external factors. This energy and passion for ourselves is within each of our hearts somewhere, waiting to be awakened. These little songbirds want us to sing our soul’s own song, just as they do. In addition to inspiring us to love ourselves, the sparrow spirit guide also symbolizes other joyful and caring qualities, such as creativity, community, friendliness, and the importance of simplicity.When a sparrow animal spirit flits into your life, it is imploring us to recognize our own self-worth. Although tiny, this creature can act as a massive source of empowerment for us. Do not underestimate yourself and your abilities. Instead, puff your own chest up full of energy and elegant pride, singing your own tune and marching to the beat of your own drum. It reminds us to respect ourselves and act with dignity, showing us that even something as small as a sparrow can triumph in this great big world. Full text here