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Miracle on Canal Street

Hello, dear friends!

I wanted to share with you the story about the "sign" I got on the way back from Chinatown last weekend. We were sitting in a restaurant in Chinatown discussing the name for my Feng Shui site with a couple of friends. We talked about the logo, the name of the company, as well as various plans for the future. Our discussion included images related to birds. I was very happy to get rave reviews from my friends.

After that, we went to the subway station and while I was waiting for my train to arrive, my friends waived to me from the opposite platform as they were getting on their train.

Still smiling after they were gone, I found myself alone. There were people further away on the platform, so I started walking towards them. One couple especially attracted my attention. They were not very young, perhaps late 40's, but there was something very magical about how they trustingly leaned towards each other. The lady was wearing a funny hat, still, they both looked beautiful and there was something very warm and accepting about their smiles. I walked past them and headed towards the other side of the platform, still excited and unable to stay in one place after a day of dragon dances and business discussions in Chinatown.

However, I felt drawn to that couple, to their warmth, the light of that woman's smile, so I turned and walked back towards them. As I was approaching them, I saw them raise their heads and look straight up. I was now almost near them. The lady turned to me and said: "Look" - pointing up. I bent my neck and looked up the hidden well expecting to find dirty, old, full of graffiti structures of the New York Underground.

Instead, I found... birds. Dozens, perhaps even hundreds of birds. They were sitting everywhere: on metal beams, wires, stairs and handles of fences. They were looking up, down at me, and at each other. They were hidden from general view, since one had to stand in a certain location on that platform and look up that hidden well to see them. I remember questions rushing through my mind one after another: Birds - here? How on earth did they get there? What do they eat? So many of them? What are they doing there?

As I continued looking up, I finally realized that the birds were actually sculptures, metal sculptures, but so realistic that it took me a while to understand that. Who would put those birds there? And so many... Those are really pretty birds, I was thinking... Even now that I know they were sculptures, I still have a hard time believing they were not real.

I was sitting on the train in awe, still contemplating what had just happened. Interestingly enough, only three people on the platform saw the birds: the "happy couple" and me... In Feng Shui birds mean messages, good news, new beginnings, success, fame and recognition, love, happy union, and many other positive and wonderful things. What's more, as some of you already know, the name of my Feng Shui company, my logo, the name of my site, and even my first name are all related to birds!

I know, there are all kinds of lessons and philosophical conclusions we can surmise from this little story. Well, I'll leave them up to you. One thing is certain for me: I felt truly blessed, as I saw true beauty where others saw only steel and dusty cement of an old New York subway station. I felt that I received a "nod" and a smile from god through that little incident.

I wish that we all see more wonderful signs like this one this year and always!

God bless you all.

Larisa Michel
(By the way, my name means "Seagull" in Greek)

Larisa Michel is a graduate of the Master Practitioners Course from the Lillian Too Institute of Feng Shui. She holds an MA degree from the prestigious School of Foreign Languages of Odessa. Originally from the Soviet Republic, Larisa spent many years in Europe before moving to the USA in 1989. She speaks 4 languages and is well versed in a multitude of cultural, spiritual, religious and philosophical practices and traditions. Her familiarity with these subjects and her ability to create the whole picture out of fragmented pieces is helpful in her practice of feng shui.

She started life as an analyst for major insurance companies including Travelers and AIG, then later worked as a financial consultant for Smith Barney. She currently resides in Princeton, NJ and is a mother of a wonderful 17-year-old daughter.

Visit her feng shui website at