Symbols – What do all these birds mean?

A couple of days after Christmas, I noticed several wild turkeys had invaded from the woods behind my house. They picked at some of the remaining green grass and whatever seeds were on the ground. I wondered if they knew they were no longer the food of choice for the holidays and that it was safe to be out and about again.

The next day, I had to laugh – the pickings must have been good since they brought some friends. I had about 15 wild turkeys wandering about the deck and grassy area. I posted the picture on Facebook. (My apologizes that the picture’s not the best picture but I was trying to keep from scaring them). A friend remarked that I should research the symbolism for turkeys since these were the first I’ve seen in the 2 years I’ve lived here. Turkeys

As I was searching the web, red breasted robins descended on the yard in front of me. We’d had some snow followed by rain, so I imagine there was food for them too. The next day was the same – loads of birds. So I looked them up too. Here’s what I found:

Turkeys are the symbol of thanksgiving and abundance. They also represent pride, abundance, generosity and fertility as well as sacrifice. A visit is a reminder to be mindful of the blessings bestowed on us each day. They are also a message to express our strength, show our plumage, reveal our true selves, and speak the truth.

Robins signal spring and a time for celebration. They represent joy, hope, renewal, clarity and happiness. The robin brings the promise of new beginnings and a new cycle. They remind us to move forward because the road is bright. And they bring it all with the gift of song.

So what did all this mean? The thankfulness resonated with me due to the closeness to the holidays. With the start of a new year, I am working on sending stories out and revising others. I love the idea of being truthful in my writing. Thinking about this translates into more clarity of my characters and being true to the story and its elements. A sun drenched road ahead helps me on the dreary winter days.

The end of each year is always hectic and chaotic in my day job (not to mention the craziness of the holidays). The New Year is a period when I am grateful to have more time to write. I gave some thought to symbolism in my stories. I don’t know that I use the device in my mysteries or remember to use symbols in them. It’s another tool I think I under use and need to be mindful of. I do use symbols in my other stories but not nearly as much I might.

How about you? Do you use symbolism in your writing? If so, how and what’s the most creative way you’ve used it?

2 thoughts on “Symbols – What do all these birds mean?

  1. Carolyn, I want to use symbolism in my stories. I’ve purchased two books on the subject. However, I haven’t consciously used it yet. Maybe on my next edit.

  2. That’s great – what books are you using? I have been looking them up on the internet but may have to look at some books since I really enjoy building that into my stories.

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