The other day, when I put up a post asking what people were reading, I got into a discussion with Thelonelyauthorblog ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/99938820 ) about the book the Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. It was one of my all-time favorite books. He asked about other books I’d read by Coehlo, and I remembered The Valkyries, and the rather profound journey it took me on, actually starting with The Alchemist. I thought it might make an interesting blog, though I suspect it will take some time to get the story out correctly.
This is a true story.
Back in 2008, I asked for The Alchemist for Christmas. I actually ended up with 2 copies. I was at my sisters for Christmas, the first I’d spent with my family in many years. (I’d left my ex in 2007 and was not yet divorced.) I remember the night before my son and I flew home, we all watched the movie Valkyrie with Tom Cruise. It was an ok movie, nothing outstanding.
My son and I were sitting in the airport waiting to board the plane back home, and I pulled out one of the copies of The Alchemist and just read the back cover. On the cover, they mentioned his book The Valkyries. I thought, “Hmmm. I haven’t heard that word in 50 years maybe, and now I hear it twice in 12 hours.” I decided it was a sign that I should pick up the book and read it when I got home. Which I did, as soon as I finished The Alchemist, which is a short book and I had lots of time to read back then, lol. It was probably January of 2009 when I read The Valkyries.
Let me also put in a note here about how broke I was then. Really broke. Taking care of my son, and working, even though I was getting child support, it was tough, because my boss decided right then that we could work no more OT for awhile. I generally worked about 5 to 8 hours of OT a week, and it made a substantial difference in my paycheck to not have that included. I was paying rent, and driving an old car, and my ex was holding 100% of our assets until the divorce was final. (That’s another story, but the synopsis is that eventually, in 2010 we went to the Supreme Court of CT, and I won and he had to give me about half of what he was holding.)
The IRS owed me about $1250. They had lost my return, which had been filed on time. Then when I sent another one, they found it. Then they sent me a check, which I never got. In fact, 2 checks each about 6 weeks apart that I never got. I called them again and asked couldn’t they send it certified or registered or something, since this was now the 3rd time I was asking for it, and it was the end of January or beginning of February 2009, 8 months after I originally filed the return. Of course in the IRS’s helpful way, they said no. And that I’d have to wait 30 days before I could request another check. Sigh. This does really have something to do with this story!
The Valkyries is a book that tells the true story of Paulo Coehlo’s own search in the Mojave Desert for his angel. He believes that we all have one, and he wanted to meet his. He was directed by his mentor (whose name I cannot remember) to go to the Mojave and there he would meet people who would help him. It was a little cryptic but he’s pretty believable. He meets this group of motorcycle riding, preaching women who criss-cross the desert preaching when they need money. Sometimes sleeping on the desert floor. They guide him on a journey, rather unwittingly, and in the end, I believe he meets his angel. I believe he tells the truth. . I remember making an involuntary gutteral noise at the end of that book. It’s a pretty amazing story. I don’t want to be a spoiler for anyone who might want to read it. Like all of Coehlo’s books, it is a fairly quick read, not unlike the Alchemist.
Fast forward a week or two. I was a little worried, no, a lot worried about making ends meet. I got up one morning, a Friday, and said, “you know God, I know this is all gonna work out, but I could really use another sign (I’d had some good ones already) that everything is going to work out.” Meaning with my divorce and financial settlement, etc. That day, driving to Walmart on my lunch break I was gifted with seeing a complete sundog. The complete rainbow around the sun, the bright spots on either side, one on the top and bottom, and the spotlight effects that come from the sides and reach out miles in front of it. Sundogs are one of my favorite phenomena (thus my jewelry making business, sundogsdesigns) and this is the only time I’ve seen the whole thing. I stood in the parking lot of Walmart, laughing, and saying thank you. As good a sign as I could get.
I was feeling a lot better about things after that, but as the weekend went by I fell back into my funk, and worry. I was sick of living in limbo, having nothing, him having every penny we’d ever made together and me struggling. That Sunday a power plant in that was under construction blew up, killing 6 people. I lived about 5 miles from it as the crow flies and the shock waves could be felt where I lived. That set me back, such a darkness fell over me.
Now it was Monday, and back to work. And still feeling anxious. I know what to do when I am anxious. Meditate, read something that will set my mind at ease. So, as I left for work I grabbed The Valkyries as I was leaving because it was the book handiest out of my considerable collection of spiritual type books.
At lunch that day, I drove to a cove on the CT river, about 3 miles from work, and sat by the water, always where I go to ease my mind. I ate lunch, and then opened the book randomly, and re-read a bit about Paulo Coehlo’s search for his angel. I felt a little better, a little more centered, and grounded. I went back to work.
I was scheduled to work til 7 pm that day, as I did every Monday. When I left work, it was cold and dark being February in New England. The rush hour traffic was over. I got on the highway, in light traffic, and fell into deep thought about angels, from reading the book. Like, are there really angels hanging around us? Energetic beings who we only have to ask for help and they will give it? (Because they can’t help if you don’t ask, right? They have to be invited in, I’ve heard.)
As my thoughts went on, I felt my right arm get warm, near the passenger side of the car. I rubbed it a little, idly, and then suddenly it occurred to me to ask out loud….”Are you here, Angel? Are you in the car with me?” I repeated it a few times. It seemed ridiculous, but at the same time compelling. Momentarily, a car pulled up behind me on this empty highway. It then purposefully pull out of the lane, went around me, and then pulled in front of me, again, purposefully. Most cars would have pulled out to pass me in the left lane and just gone on in that late, since there was no traffic at that hour of the night, on a divided highway to rural areas. But this one pulled right in front of me, close enough for me to read the license plate.
It was “Angel-7”. Really. After I caught my breath a huge calm came over me. I drove the rest of the way home in silence, with my unseen passenger.
I normally stopped to pick up my mail as I was driving into the condo complex where I lived, at a large bank of mailboxes. Normally, on the night I worked late I didn’t bother to stop, and would just wait until the next day. However, as I drove by the bank of mailboxes, I heard a voice. Well, not really a voice. I’m not sure what it was, but I heard, “Get your mail.” Without another thought, I parked the car, and walked over to the mailboxes. I unlocked my box, and pulled the mail out.
On the top of the pile of mail lay my check from IRS for $1250. 7 Days ago the IRS had told me that I would have to wait 30 days, and call back to get the 3rd check back. But there it was…..
I drove the short distance to my condo, and went inside. I walked in the door, sat down on the couch and just cried. I was so overwhelmed with what had just happened. Over the next few days I began to realize the scope of this journey, beginning with watching the movie Valkyries.
This is my true story of encountering my angel.
Love and light to all.
Sorry didn’t you just say how you have nothing to write about? This was epic. I was spellbound. Feed me more.
Thanks CR. I forgot that I’d started this about s week ago, so at 4 AM I remembered and finished it up. And yeah, it still blows my mind when I think about the entire journey, and all the signs that led me to that ending. Crazy.
We all have help if we are willing to listen. Thanks for the reminder.
You’re welcome! 😊
I love, love, love this story! It’s like a Chicken Soup for the Soul story, only better. I bet there’s a magazine somewhere that would publish it, and I’d like to re-blog it on one of my off days. For now, I’m sharing it on twitter and FB. It’s interesting how we can still slip into those funks even after we get signs, and yet, we continue to be given more signs, more reassurance, to lift us up and keep us going. I have not read either of these books, but it must be time. Which one should I read first?
Oh, I meant to tell you I saw The Alchemist on Book Bub recently for $2.99, so maybe it’s still available there for that price….
Thanks! I haven’t been there, but maybe I’ll take a look. 🙂
Book Bub will send you a list of books, like 6 or 8, every day that are on sale for cheap, for free to $2.99. Check them out. The other day the had Big Magic by Liz Gilbert on sale. ( I bought it!!!)
So many books to read! 🙂 We will never run out!
Thank you so much JoAnna. It was a pretty amazing experience. Yes, the signs are all around us, we just have to be open to them.
As for the books, I would start with the Alchemist. It’s one of the best selling books of all time, and been translated into a zillion languages. Short read, but profound. Coehlo is (I just read) the most followed author in social media, like 29.5 million followers on FB! He’s written probably dozens of books, I’ve liked all that I’ve read, which is maybe 5 or 6. He always has a lesson to learn too. I’m sure you’d like him.
Thanks again, for your words, and your sharing of my blog! ♥♥
Reblogged this on Anything is Possible! and commented:
I love this true story from Deborah. Angels are everywhere. Thank you, angels.
JoAnna, thank you so much for the reblog. I’m glad you enjoyed my story. And yes, angels are everywhere. It’s an amazing thing to really now.
Yes it is!
I LOVE THAT BOOK!!!