Driving the Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River from Charleston to aptly named Mount Pleasant, I’m struck by the sunlight glinting off the bridge’s cables. “Looks like the Pearly Gates,” I say out loud to no one, creating an official theme for the day.
Soon I’m sitting in the sun on the deck at Shem’s Creek Grill, watching great egrets land on the docks along the creek. The warmth on my neck and arms, a light breeze on my cheek, and it occurs to me that indeed I’ve arrived in heaven.
“You already know what you want?” asks my server.
“Well, I’m trying to decide between the BBQ prime rib sandwich, without the bread, and the shrimp and grits.”
“Shrimp and grits,” she says without hesitation. “And your side?”
“Good greens,” she says.
Old familiar music on the radio – late 60s, early 70s – Norman Greenbaum is singing Spirit in the Sky – “Goin’ up to the spirit in the sky, that’s where I’m gonna go when I die. When I die and they lay me to rest, gonna go to the place that’s the best.”
I’m smiling into my pint of Holy City Puff Mud Porter, thinking, “What are the odds a song about heaven would come on?” I mean, I can make things up, but I can’t make things happen. Can I?
Led Zeppelin starts singing Stairway to Heaven, and I pay more attention to the lyrics than I have in years. “With a word she can get what she came for…… and it makes me wonder”. Eric Clapton then sings, “If I Saw You in Heaven”, followed by Aerosmith’s “Dream On”.
“Sing with me, just for today…..Maybe tomorrow the Good Lord’ll take you away. Dream on….Dream on…..Dream until your dreams come true. “
I decide I should look up the symbolic meaning of great egrets. The first result to appear is a post on Whispers, Channels, Prophecies, and Visions. “The great egret emanates a message of great compatibility + heaven sense,” it begins.
“The great egret is about manifesting miracles. At this time in your life, there may be some already occurring for your benefit. Continue to be open, and you’ll see much more unfold for you.”
And it makes me wonder.