These three barn owls that live at a local wildlife park drew my immediate attention. I think it was their collective gesture, the familiar and comfortable contact. But it was also their “three-ness”.
To many of us, primary numbers can have meaning, sometimes many meanings. For me, though, the number three has always and only been associated with a singular magical truth: I was one of three children, all girls. Interestingly, being one of three sisters made us each feel special. There were, of course, the inevitable and tired comparisons, but even that was its own form of cherished attention. There was a general feeling of completeness, a sense of a matched set – each unique but part of the whole. Each refining her own role and identity in the set – oldest, middle, youngest.
We lost Sally, the middle sister and probably the most complex in our set of three, a year ago this week. I dearly miss her, every day, and the owls reminded me of that hole in my heart where the three-ness used to reside.