Twelve years ago in the year 2000, I was working at a Call Centre and my shift at that time started at 6 AM. I would walk to work the 45minutes, getting up at 4 AM, leaving at 5 AM, grabbing my Coffee at the Tim Horton’s on the way and getting to work for 5:45 AM. I was a busy girl. It was the year after my separation and I was running on some kinda new energy called HAPPY.
Now this day as I was cutting through the central park in London called Victoria Park, I came across a HUGE ‘murder’ of crows swirling and whirling up above the tree tops, they were making a real raucous. It was mesmerizing. Dawn was just cracking, the ground was covered with snow, and the moon was still hanging brightly in the sky. It was the “in-between”. Between the dawn and light of day.
As I was standing there watching one single crow fell from the centre of the spiraling black cloud of birds above. He fell to the ground and landed 50 feet away from me. Oh my — I can’t touch a dirty crow. I can’t take him somewhere, I have no car to drive him in. I don’t even know if he’s alive. So I came up to him, very slowly and gently so as not to frighten him (if he was alive). He turned one dark eye at me — and I knew — he just needed me to bear witness, to see him, to acknowledge him. It was like witnessing something sacred.
Crows of course throughout time have been symbolic of death. It was not the only omen of that sort I received in that year before Mom died, but that’s a story for another time.
This Crow dying before my eyes stayed with me for days. The screaming, swirling mass, and then this Crow falling to earth. It was his rejection from his peers that struck me afterward. I don’t know of course, and never will, what transpired before or after. Perhaps his fate though was similar to that of the vagrant I came across later that week.
I don’t remember the date, but it was cold and almost 2 feet of snow was piled up on either side of the sidewalks on Richmond St. in Downtown London. As I was leaving my building and walking to the corner to cross at the light after work, this pile of old grubby cloths and booze grabbed my arm. He says “I’m having a heart attack, drive me to the hospital”. I laugh, I swear I did. I had just been thinking that because it was so cold maybe I may take the bus. I decided I would keep going till I hit the downtown core and decide then, since ALL the bus’ congregate at that corner.
I told him he’d latched the wrong lass. I could walk him to the cop shop, but that’s as far as I would go. He stayed latch on. I thought, well fine then. So off we went walking down Richmond to Dundas and the bus (me), cop shop (him).
We chatted along the way. Told me this garbled up tale of his ultimate downfall — wife committing suicide because he had lost his job at some plant. For…..drinking I would imagine. So after her death, he lost the house and eventually ended up the smelly gentlemen I had held on to my arm. It really is incredible, but when you are escorting a bum you become as invisible as they are. Remember the sidewalks are already narrow from the snow, but I had people almost physically walk right into me. Incredible.
I we, got to the core, I lost him at the cop shop. So I told the two Officers working about the man whom I’d escorted and that he said he had chest pains. They kinda gave each other the “aw, ain’t she sweet” and trailed after me to find my bum vagrant. We caught up with the old fart outside the McDonald’s. Well now, all of a sudden he’s healthy and hail and not one single complaint to make as to general health.
Whatever. I told the kind Officers that we were fine and they went their way, and we went to the McDonald’s for a coffee. We sat for a bit and talked while I warmed up. Getting up to go I asked why he wasn’t drinking his coffee — he says “I don’t drink Coffee, but they let me stay if I have one, they take a long time to finish”. ;-) Learn something new every day. I asked him why he didn’t let me buy him food…but, (silly me) that didn’t appeal to him at all.
So how does this all hang together?
They converged and reminded me to be grateful — I’m grateful to that Crow and its shamanic soul. For its lesson on humanity, and humility. I am grateful to the Vagrant for letting me into a small piece of his world. For “a poor man shames us all”. I am grateful to Everyday Guru’s for his open, kind and loving soul.
I am grateful to my sister for being there, for her music & her shimmer. It’s a blessing. I am grateful for Penny and her ability to fly and her desire to teach others how. Plus I am grateful to her for giving me the courage to go out and get what I want; rather than settling for just what I need. I am Grateful to Tim for loving me. For loving me, and for showing me what real Love really feels like.
- Crows Have Opinions (psychologytoday.com)