A dead bird. Specifically, a mourning dove with one eye half-open...rigor mortis had set in, and she was belly up right smack in the middle of the doorstep to my oh-so-sacred writing cottage.
I went all flustered back into the house, and my husband (you know, the guy in the wheel-chair) says, "Well, I'd love to help, but..." And there was that smug, guy smile on his face. URGH. So I went to get my shovel. It wasn't until I returned, that I noticed the half-open eyelid. That was my undoing. I slid the shovel underneath the damn thing, cursed every coyote and red fox that I know living around my woods and sent the mourning dove flying (well, not so much) into the forest below...well, that was my hope. Instead, I did my lousy freaked-out hurling. Thought it would go out and down, well you know where this is going. It went up and came down instead!! At first, I thought it was gonna come down on me. I let out such a yell, that I'm certain the whole world of creatures heard me and ran in the other direction!
After that, I grew more determined. I was not going to read into that omen. Was it an omen? No, I told myself! I was so done with that trauma. I'm going to block it out, and just go in there and get with that zen thing again. But then...I opened the door, sat down at my desk, and the fire alarm's high-pitched, very intermittent squeal sounded. You know the one. It usually goes off in the middle of the night and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end? I was not going to listen to that all afternoon! I jumped up onto the couch and dangled from its back, ripped the stupid thing off the ceiling and tossed it inside the house. Remember that helpful, smug wheelchair guy inside? Well...I stuck it on him! For once, I got the last laugh.
Now...barring any other unforeseen disasters...the rubber meets the road. Why does it have to be so hard? Sing it to me, oh zen master...and make it loud!