“My Stepson, the Owl and Me”

Do you invent symbolic meanings and share good luck signs with people you want to create a special connection? When I was little, on Sunday afternoons me and my mother, whom I rarely saw during the week, got into a habit of searching for a brown spotted yellow giraffe in our very beautiful but rather grey and dreary city. Excited, we walked for hours all over St.Petersburg and often when all the hope was about to fail us we saw his long glorious neck, reflecting the gold of the setting sun. This vision strengthened our bond and helped me to cope with the lonely and infinite days of my uneventful early childhood.

In this week’s TIES story the author Nicole Jankovski writes: “Maybe the owl was a gift we gave to each other, until my stepson and I figured out how to be something more than strangers in a car, cemented together by marriage."" The owl became a beacon of hope: a kindred spirit, with feathers, to narrow the valley between us. Without the owl, we were just two strangers, brought together in the shadow of divorce."