The Wind Phone

A Skeptic Walks Through Grief & Magical Thinking

“Dal segno! Dal segno!”

Tracy Willis
The Wind Phone
Published in
5 min readMay 23, 2024

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A bird feather on a forest floor.
Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash

Signs. Omens. Are they superstitions or communications from the spirit world?

One of my favorite movies ever is “Under the Tuscan Sun.” It’s a little over 20 years old now, but I watch it every time I need something comforting and predictable in my world. There’s a scene in the movie when Diane Lane’s character makes an offer to an old Comtesse for her dilapidated house. The old lady apologizes and explains that she can’t sell it to just anyone. She needs a sign. Lane’s character turns to go when a roosting pigeon in the rafters poops all over her head.

The Comtesse cries out, “Dal segno! Dal segno!” It turns out that in Italy, a bird crapping on your head is a good omen. She accepts Lane’s offer, and the main character’s Italian adventure is underway.

I’ve always been a polite skeptic when it comes to signs and the supernatural, until my mom unexpectedly passed away.

The week after she died, my father left the house to run an errand. When he returned, a light inside the China cabinet was turned on. This happened repeatedly. It would be off when he went to bed at night, and in the morning, the cabinet light glowed. They never used that light when my mom was alive. He even…

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Tracy Willis
The Wind Phone

I'm a teacher who woke up one day and asked, “How the hell did I get here?” Writing compels me, and I've learned to listen when the universe speaks. Finally.