Saturday, July 17, 2010

Two Crows

The animal world is amazing. They share our planet with us, and are ever our teachers if we open to their lessons. Last week I received a good lesson from the crows who live by me.

I love crows. And they seem to love me, too, as they have always allowed me to get close to them. On a misty morning I left early for work and encountered one of my regulars out scavenging for breakfast. She was striding through the dewy grass searching out worms and grubs and insects, and doing a fair job of finding them. We regarded each other as we do. She gave a low crawk of greeting and cocked her head to look at me closely. I told her, in low tones, how beautiful she was. She crawked more words to me. I watched her as she resumed her rustling for food, and then I turned to continue to my car.

After buckling in I stopped to marvel at how beautiful life is and how privileged I am to relate to these crows. I put the car in gear and headed out of my little housing development to the main street.

Just at the corner to the bustling main street I saw a fledgling crow smashed in the gutter, apparently hit by a car in the late evening or the early dawn. Clearly dead. And I could tell he was a fledgling by the color of his beak, still so bright to make it easier for parents to find to place food in. This young one had not judged traffic accurately, and thereby paid the price. It is a too frequent occurrence of late and always puts a lump in my throat. A few weeks ago I witnessed a crow being run over by an SUV that never stopped and it affected me deeply. How can people be so clueless and callous?

After my instant of adrenalin and horror passed I did what I do for animals who are killed by cars, and continued on the way to work, but remained shaken. As I was accelerating on the freeway ramp a gentle voice asked me: Which crow are you going to focus on now?

I thought about it. I had done what I could for the dead one. The live one was still there grubbing out her meal. Which crow would haunt me for the morning? It was then I realized I had a choice.

I could continue to feel shock and pain about the dead crow, taken too early, and too violently. I could continue to mentally image his poor broken wing at its dreadful angle from the road, feathers rustling in the morning air. I could continue to feel that pain all morning and stay in that vibration. And believe me it was tempting to stay there. I was still shaking with the emotion of the encounter.

Or I could remember the incredible honor and communication with the live crow, her words of greeting, her focus on her meal, and how that encounter raised my vibration to soaring heights.

The two encounters happened within ten minutes of each other. And each so different, and so polar opposite, vibrationally. I had to smile. Because of course I chose to stay vibrationally with the live crow.

In life we must make a conscious choice to keep our eye on the prize and our mind and body in alignment with positive vibrations. Of course sadness and low vibration events will come and we must attend to these situations. We must do what we must do. But then we need to wrap it up, conclude it, and…here’s the trick… Let. It. Go.

How often do we stay with the dead crow? How often do we hang on to something that is painful, and ignore or minimize the positive things coming in to our lives? I am not suggesting we abandon these painful situations, or ignore them, but we must keep our emphasis and our focus on the positive. The positive must be our default vibration. It is the only way we can continue to progess in our lives. By staying in the positive we can better do what we came here to do.

And so every time that morning, when the image of that sad, broken wing came into my head, I sent that crow a blessing and shifted to the image of the breakfast seeker and her low crawking greeting to me. And I marveled at the entire sequence.

My work day was very busy and full of a lot of negative and some positive and ended with my long drive home. I finally got in just before dusk, pulling up the drive quite tired and cringing at seeing some feathers still in the road as I approached. I turned off the ignition and sighed with letting the day go. I thought of the dead crow, blessed it, and refocused. I gathered my purse and tote and stepped out. And looked up. There, greeting me, were two live crows walking in the grass looking for dinner.

Two crows. One, my morning companion, looked up and crawed at me and resumed beaking about the blades of grass. The other merely regarded me mutely and picked up a beetle. Tears stung my eyes at the beauty.

Mitaku Oyasin is Lakota for ‘all my relations’ but it means so much more than just those words. It has no complete translation, but encompasses everything as one family and as one learning spirit. We have so much to learn, and the world has so much it can teach us. Watch for the crows in your life. Take the lessons they offer.


  1. Deb, that was a beautiful way to remind us of an important lesson in life. You are so sensitive and appreciative of nature. I have learned so much from you. Love you!


  2. The metaphor goes even deeper. How often do we keep lavishing attention and energy on situations, people, things, which are no longer viable in our lives? And how often does this wasteful expenditure cost the living vital portion of our life?

    The crows are very wise.