Tuesday, December 21, 2010

crow's gift


in august of 2008, on my birthday,
this story arrived as a gift from ali miracle holt.

*

the crows here are so smart. and lordly.
one crawwked at me from atop a sign this morning.
here is a story about one:

sitting on his back deck early one august morning, focused on his laptop,
steven suddenly felt someone watching him.
he looked up into the shining black eye of a crow, standing on the railing not two meters away.

the crow tilted his head, staring over his beak at steven.
clearly, the crow expected something of him.
'hello crow,' steven ventured.
in response the crow narrowed his eyes and pushed his head a bit closer,
which had the effect of elongating his whole body, pointing toward him.

steven dared not look away.
'what can i do for you?' he asked.
the crow walked sideways along the rail a bit, peering at him from this new angle,
and fluffed his wings out briefly and refolded them.

'it's a fine day to be out flying,' continued steven.
'the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming.
i was just finding some good wake up music when you caught my attention.'

then the crow really got his attention with a loud crawwwwk and a piercing glare.
taken aback, suddenly steven 'heard' inside his head the odd-sounding but distinct
'i have come a long way to deliver this message.'
steven's eyes were wide.
the crow cocked his head and steven 'heard,'
'you are a good man.
a friend to animals and children.
gentle.
we thank you.
know that the birds and wild creatures will watch over you, and those you love.'

almost dumbfounded, steven managed to get out,
'why, thank you! i feel honoured by this.'
the crow seemed to relax just a bit, encouraging steven to go on.
'can i do anything in return?'
'just keep being grateful, honouring all life, paying attention to what's around you.'

now the crow flapped his wings and steven sensed the end of his patience.
'thank you, thank you very much.
i will do my best to follow your advice.'
already the crow had turned around and was testing the breeze in preparation for flying off.
he looked back at steven one last time,
opened his beak to crawwwk once,
then flew off the railing and up into the clear sky,
heading west.

steven watched until the crow became a tiny black dot
then disappeared far above the roofs of the neighborhood.

* * * * * * * * *

ali's body flew away some time ago.
but her spirit remains
spread like a starry blanket across much of the known world.

11 comments:

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

A stunning gift, a perceptive crow and a moving remembrance.

steven said...

lorenzo thankyou. ali was an extraordinary person. this writing appeared out of the air and remains one of the more exceptional gifts i've received. steven

Ruth said...

May you keep hearing the voice of nature moving you, and through your voice moving us, Steven.

Merry Christmas.

steven said...

ruth thankyou so much! it was shortly after receiving this story that my perception of this world changed. then the way this blog shares that perception changed. happy christmastime! steven

Liza said...

'just keep being grateful, honouring all life, paying attention to what's around you.

words that made me well up, especially knowing where they came from, infinite love.
happy christmastime!!!!
: ))))

Golden West said...

A truly wonderful gift from the heart. Thanks for sharing it, Steven. Lovely.

Suz said...

steven..what a beautiful name, ali had ..miracle...for indeed this is what she gave you
a miracle of words
tied in a story
for you
It is a quiet story..understated
I like that..and she knew the crow very well...every move it made..
pay attention...what a gift..she gave...and she is right about you
if this story were mine I would put it in a locket and wear it around my neck just above my heart
And by sharing this her spirit remains...wonderful
merry christmas

Joanna said...

The crow's gift to you and the shift in perception that accompanied it has been a gift to all here who read your beautiful blog.

Dan Gurney said...

'just keep being grateful, honouring all life, paying attention to what's around you.'

What a wise prescription for happiness! What a wonderful gift you received from ali and the crow. They gave wisely to you because you share this gift so generously with us. In sharing this gift, it grows ever greater. thank you steven.

Tess Kincaid said...

An extraordinary gift. What a lovely way to remember your friend.

Linda Sue said...

Dang- you are SO lucky- crows never talk to me and the baby jay only says "more, give me more..." When you depart this gravity situation on earth and "fly away" I think that you will have sprouted a fine set of wings and will glide effortlessly- The crows will see to it.