My family refers to my 92-year old Sicilian grandma as our little “Strega Nonna”, aka Grandma Witch. Mainly because she is a witch. Alright, if you’re going to get technical, not a witch in the traditional sense but, she has always had a sixth sense for things. She has vivid dreams and often interprets them as predictors (or omens) for what’s to come. True story: years ago she dreamt she was making a meat sauce for my brother and his friends. She called me and said that dreaming about meat isn’t a good sign; it means something very bad is going to happen. A week later, my brother had a terrible fall while on a weekend away with his college friends and he needed to be hospitalized (don’t worry, he’s A-OK today!). “See?” she said to me. “Meat sauce.”
I’ve always felt that I’ve shared this trait with my grandma. Like her, I have vivid dreams but more so I have a very strong instinct for when something or someone feels right, or wrong. Another true story: when I was 11 years old I went outdoor furniture shopping with my mom. We went into a Garden and Patio store and I immediately got a weird feeling. That feeling became even stronger after we spoke to the saleswoman. I can clearly remember saying to my mom (in that sassy tone only a preteen girl can deliver): “This place is sketchy. Don’t buy anything from here.” I also remember the LOOK my mom (and the saleswoman) gave me in return. We didn’t make a purchase that day and, lo and behold, that chain of stores filed for bankruptcy a year later as a result of tax evasion and a host of other illegalities. “See?” I said to my mom. “Sketchy.”
The past year hasn’t allowed me much opportunity to tap into my gut instincts. Thanks to Covid, most of my life choices have been rooted in cold hard science (so boring!). That said, I recently made a few big decisions that required me to check in with myself and it felt good to revive my witchy senses. Of course, when in doubt, I know I can always call my little Strega Nonna for her…feelings.