On my way to Minnesota last week, I stopped off at a small rural gas station. I was very low on fuel, and had to run to the restroom. When I came out of the restroom, which was around the back of the building, I heard a faint voice call out to me. "Can you help me? Please sir?"
I looked over and saw a small, withered old woman sitting on the ground wearing tattered clothes. She had a rag tied around her head, and she looked sad and troubled. At first I thought it was just another one of "Bill's people" and I wanted to flee. But something about her and the way she sat reminded me very much of the little old bird woman in MARY POPPINS. That song FEED THE BIRDS has always haunted me, and it is from one of my favorite all time movies.
"Help me, please?" she said again.
"What do you need?" I asked.
"I just need a little bit of money to get a bite to eat. If you will help me, I will read your fortune."
"Read my fortune?" I was skeptical, but have learned over the years to keep an open mind. Mostly I just felt for her and wanted to help her out. I reached into my pocket. "I only have four dollars cash right now."
"That will do, give it to me." I handed over the cash. "Now come closer and give me your hand."
I did as she said, then smiled and said, "Don't you have a crystal ball?"
"Hush!" she demanded. Her hands were dirty, but I let her take my own freshly washed hand and feel it. First she pressed lightly on the flesh of my palm, then she ran her fingers lightly over the lines in my hand. Suddenly, she squeezed tightly and closed her eyes and made a face of deep concentration. It was as if she were drifting away.
"Shh! Hush now!" she commanded me. And I did what she said. She kept her eyes closed and began to chant. "You drive very far, long distances, every day."
"How did you --"
"Hush!" she interrupted. "You have many friends who love you, yet you are lonely. You are looking for answers, but aren't quite sure you know the questions. You want to find your father... no, you lost your father... no, wait... your father died and yet you still search for him. You have dreams that you don't make come true. You just drive."
I had chills running up and down my back. How in the world could she know all of this about me. It was as if she were inside my soul rummaging around.
"You care about others, sometimes more than you care about yourself. You try so hard to help other people, but many times it works out badly. You try to do unto others, and live by a code of honor that others see as a sign of weakness." She held one hand high up in the air. "You must stop. You must take inventory and learn to relax. You have a good heart, but no one to share it with. There is hope for you yet, but only if you find the key to unlock the anguish in your heart, and then dispose of it. Get rid of it!"
I nodded. "Anything else?"
"Yes. Beware of the marshes, the mire and the muck. Beware of the swamps that hide killer ducks."
I shook my head. "What does that mean?"
"Take heed! Mark my words!"
"Now go. And have a lovely day."
I hurried to my car and drove away. This was rather eerie. She knew so much personal information about me. But the warning about the ducks at the end was oddly mysterious. I got out my CD case and popped in the MARY POPPINS soundtrack. Put on the song FEED THE BIRDS, because it was on my mind and I really love that song. I've read that it was Walt Disney's favorite song, also.