We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Nov 8, 2007

Have I Mentioned the Crows?

The summer I turned ten I went away to a very special summer camp, there are thousands of stories that I could tell about how that place has had an affect on my life but right now I want to tell you about the crows.

The crows there seemed to like me and scare me. They would follow me to and from the barn early in the morning when I, always late, would walk alone to barn-chores. They would settle near me at what ever activity I was doing during the day. If I ever stopped to pick peas or rhubarb in the garden (yes this was a farm camp, among other things) they would come close to inspect me. All this attention from the crows made me very nervous. I would try my hardest to walk to the barn with other kids, often doing it with my boots untied or in my arms.

As the summer progressed I learned to ignore the crows. Well sort of, I had just became better at getting ready in the morning and I always had someone to walk with after evening barn-chores.

As I grew old the crows just stayed around.

After college I moved to Colorado and the whole way across the country there was always a small murder waiting for me. At the time I was sure they were following, now I rather think they just warned each other of my arrival. After settling in Durango they became much more bold. I would sometimes find them on top of my car after a days work at the ski resort. These were bold crows who frightened me, they would caw as I came down to the parking lot only fly off when I took my keys out.

It was during that first year that the crows began to soften. They would follow me, but occasionally it would be them leading. On my rare days off I would go for hikes, following them, I saw many beautiful places this way. Of course I was still scared of them, but I respected them too. With one boy friend they would crowd the tree by his window waking us up early, he swore they were only ever there when I was.

Finally I met Kevin, someone who I could tell my strange crow story to and rather than laughing he took me seriously. We talked about what the crows could mean or what it was about me that attracted them. During that time I had a frightening dream about a crow that came into my bed and was flapping all over me. I woke in dread but Kevin showed up soon for an early morning breakfast and calmed me. That's when I told him about the crows.

Since then I've used crows like some people use tarot cards or the I Ching. When I'm trying to make a decision I look for them and see what they are doing. I interpret their movements to help me choose. It isn't as though they tell me what to do, that would be nutty, instead they are a way for me make concrete thoughts that were floating in my mind. They still follow me around but it just makes me smirk now.


The Grocer said...

I like the way this bit of your childhood imagination has stuck with you, although Crows are highly intelligent (cue spooky music).

**camera shy momma** said...

this is great. there are so many importances like this story that are often overlooked or dismissed. these pictures are wonderful!