Monday, October 20, 2008

A Murder of Crows in the Druid's Tree: A Meditation on Nature

The neighbors behind us have a huge oak tree in their yard, a majestic and muscular tree who watches over their yard and ours. This morning a cacophony of corvine caws called me out to the yard: a murder of crows laughing and cursing and who-knows-what-else in the canopy of the great oak. My daughter and I had to shout to hear each other over the ruckus. I couldn't figure out what the crows were up to, but more of their feathered friends came to join them. Over our house swooped more curious crows and a pair of critical blue jays.

I just finished reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, in which ravens figure somewhat prominently. It is a book of Enlgish magic taking place in the early 1800's. If such a topic interests you at all, I suggest that the 1000+ pages are very much worth the read. Anyway - it left me feeling mysterious and magically inclined. The crow caucus in my back yard - in the branches of the sacred-to-druids oak - felt like it might possibly be some sort of omen.

So while I raked the Box Elder leaves in our back yard (the oak leaves haven't yet fallen), I meditated on the possible lessons of this murder of crows. Now, first off, I think the crows were up to their own business. They weren't there for me. Same goes for the tree. However, I believe we can be open to lessons in anything that catches our attention. My attention, my interest is what makes this event a spiritual message.

Crows in the top of an oak tree: Life and death, earth and sky, and a lot of celebrating going on. This seems to me a celebration of the season. This Samhain I honor the passage of two more people: my father and a little boy I barely knew. One lived a long and hard life (my father), the other a short life that ended tragically. They are both on their paths, passed from this life to the spirit realm. The crows tell me to celebrate the lives of these two people, and all the others I have lost. The crows remind me that life is by its very nature transitional. We are at once rooted in the soil and ready to take flight. And that is the party called life.

What sacred messages has nature offered you recently?

I wish you and yours a sacred and peaceful Samhain.

No comments: