It Came in Through the Window
“Blessings sometimes show up in unrecognizable disguises.” — Janette Oke
I’ve recently taken up knitting and was happily sitting on my couch engaged in my new hobby when something flew into my living room. I was immediately startled, and my first thought was that a bird must have lost its course and found its way inside my apartment. My very next thought was that it was almost bedtime, so why would a bird be flying around at this hour? Which prompted me to take a closer look at the creature that was now circling my living room.
It was a bat.
Chanting “ohmygod-ohmygod-ohmygod,” I threw down my halfway-done scarf, beelined it for my bedroom, and slammed the door shut. Once safely in the confines of my sleeping space, I realized that in my haste to exit the living room, I neglected to grab my phone. Which was resting on the coffee table. And the coffee table was resting in the bat-zone. And I am self-aware enough to know that I wasn’t going to take on the caped crusader on my own, so I needed that phone to call in reinforcements.
I went through a round of “whatdoIdo-whatdoIdo-whatdoIdo” in my head, eyed a blanket lying on the bed, threw it over my head and around my body, and cracked open the door. Noticing that my visitor was taking an aerial tour of another part of the apartment, I then shot through the door in my poorly constructed battle armor, calling for God to save me as I reached the coffee table. I grabbed the phone and then screamed as the bat re-entered the living room. Despite this setback, I made it back into my bedroom alone, slammed the door shut once again, and breathed a sigh of relief.
Then I called my mom. Because the first thing to do when a bat is flying around your home and you’re freaking out is to call the one person who lives roughly 10 miles away and would probably do the same thing I was currently doing even if they were with me at the time. Only we’d be bumping into each other. But she did give me good advice which was to call the people who manage the apartment building for help.
So, I hung up with her. And then I posted to Facebook. Because in the age of social media, the next thing to do when a bat is flying around your home is to let everyone, including people you know professionally, in on the fact that you are running around your apartment like a crazy person, wrapped in a blanket.
Shortly after I posted, I moved forward on my mother’s advice and called the wonderful couple who manage my apartment building. The woman of the couple reassured me that help was on the way, and the gentleman of the couple showed up a few minutes later and courageously made his way into my apartment with a broom, a rake, and a box. After a few minutes of effort, he secured the bat into the box and let me know through the bedroom door that I was still behind that all was ok. I sheepishly emerged from the room, and he kindly walked me around my living space so we could determine my visitor’s point of entry. It ended up being a top window in my bedroom that fell open which he shut for me. Afterward, he picked up the box, left the apartment, and went outside to let the bat go. No animals were harmed during this interaction. Win-win.
I read afterward that despite the ominous and dark connotations that surround bats, having one fly around your home is actually a rare but auspicious occurrence. In the right context, it can be a sign of protection and safety, and also of success. And I believe that. As I laughed my way through a follow-up conversation with my mom, I realized that I reached out to her first because she represents stability and safety in my life. I was scared and needed my mommy. And she provided a solution. And the Facebook post? In my time of need, I received a lot of suggestions, funny posts, and shared stories from my friends, most of which had me laughing even more. The building managers came to my rescue, and the combination of all these things told me that even though I live alone, I am still safe. And they also showed me that in this time of social-distancing and social unrest, I am still connected. I still have people to share my experiences with. Connection to others is one of the main things that drives me and feeds my soul, and I received it in droves even though I live by myself. Success!
I’m really grateful to that little guy (yes, on top of everything else, he wasn’t even a big bat. I was chased into my room by a creature no larger than a guinea pig. Ok…quite smaller than a guinea pig). My first instinct was to fear him because of the stereotypes that make up what I know about bats. Admittedly, I don’t know much about them and what I do know is partially silly (think Dracula). But that bat taught me about the blessings that can come from seemingly scary circumstances if you move past fear, reach out to people, and take a deeper look at your experience.
Namaste, Caped Crusader.