Thursday, June 24, 2010

One Black Crow

One crow sorrow, two crows joy, three crows a letter, four crows a boy.

I can't remember the rest of the rhyme.

They have a majesty. This time of year, the pre-summer months, April, May, June. I see them alot, black shadows sillouhetted against the blue-white sky. I hear them, their loud tone-deaf calls filling me with a calm dread.

Ancient cultures (which ones? somewhere I read this) felt the sign of a single black crow was a bad bad omen. Lately, I have seen lone black crows everywhere. Even when I'm not looking.

I lived in a basement apartment near Thompson Park during the Summers of my Discontent (late last century). The mature trees invited crows. During my spring/summer/fall walks, runs, and roller-blades, there was a pair of crows that seemed to follow me along my route. It was un-nerving. I tried to give them personality by imagining they were the embodied souls of my paternal grandparents. It wasn't nearly as disrespectful or anti-Catholic as it sounds. I needed to anthromorphosize them somehow. They seemed, the pair of them, friendly, albeit stalkingly so, but they were big, tough crows, and they had no problem standing, fearless, on various patches of grass in Thompson Park, staking their territory. I watched them at first with fear, stemming from a recent trauma from a violent crime; my motivation at the time to even get outdoors was to battle depression with outdoor exercise. The crows seemed to be vocal supporters of this.
Lately, as I complete one of my many runs outside during the week, near my office, far far away from that Thompson park roller-blade route, I am seeing crows. Well, not two together. One, One ominous black crow. But lately, not so ominous. I see it flying high up above me in the blue June sky. Circling for a while, then settling on a lamp post, looking down at me, it's black eyes intent. But not threatening. Unagressive. Watching. Protective.
I shake my head as I run. I am, again, in time of life-stress and strife, attributing a kind-of personification to the common crow.
And then I stumbled across a blog entry by a writer I admire about seeing signs and spirits, as birds. It was late at night, I was labouring over this blog. Writing about something so 'out there' in the physical world for alot of people. When I saw this entry about signs and relating said signs to birds, I felt, for the first time in a few fleeting months, that I hadn't completely cracked.
And that I can acknowledge all my recent life changes, losses, and shifts of mind in the past few months without letting go of my sanity.
I'm a human being not a human doing, it helps to remember this sometimes.

I'm taking the omen away from this symbol and attributing it to a soul watching out for me, just a little bit. I need it right now.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. hmm. interesting. figuratively only; i do know the whole rhyme.