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Sign of the times spotted on causeway

I am a believer in signs. Everything that happens within a given moment is related, interwoven like a giant tapestry. A sign is that intuitive flash that for a split second reveals a portion of the design, a sense of direction, for good or bad.

Some call it superstition, but I believe it has more to do with the subconscious mind making sense of what rational thought cannot fathom. I saw a sign Friday, but before I tell you what it was, I must give the context.

I was listening to a report on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. “Tough times can often be a springboard for creativity,” Lynn Neary said. “When no one’s job is safe, no one’s house is secure and no one knows exactly what to do about it, artists get to work. … This was certainly true in the 1930s during the Great Depression, when artists, actors, writers and filmmakers combined curiosity with creativity to find and tell the stories of people affected by the era’s economic hardship.”

Neary cited a Frank Capra film, “Mr. Deeds Goes To Town,” the story of a common man who inherits millions and then gives it all away after being confronted by a desperate farmer who has lost everything.

The same trend is happening today, Neary said, in films like “Gran Torino,” about the collapse of the auto industry, or “Wendy and Lucy,” the story of a woman who goes to Alaska in hopes of a job but loses everything along the way.

Neary interviewed A.O. Scott, film critic for The New York Times. “I think that very good filmmakers, like novelists or other artists, have an ability to see a little bit ahead, or to notice things that are happening in the world before they come to the surface,” Scott said.

But audiences today, just like those in 1930s, don’t want to dwell on the downside, Scott said. Fred Astaire danced through the Great Depression. Today, “Slumdog Millionaire” is drawing millions. People want a bit of magic so they can believe things will turn out OK, Scott said.

Neary’s report distracted me from worries that set the tone for my drive into work. Then, just as she finished her report, I crossed the little bridge on Perico Island. There, perched on the top of a dying Australian pine, was my Golden eagle. Before the rape of the causeway when the pines were ripped out, I saw my Golden eagle every morning. After the pines were gone, he disappeared. I feared the worst.

But there he was Friday morning, sitting in the sun, a sure sign that things will be OK.

Donna Wright, health and social services reporter, can be reached at 745-7049.

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