Well, okay. She isn’t “my” crow, but I do feel like she was a wild pet. Gratzia and her parents and one sibling. They’re the ones I’ve told you about, along with a third sibling, Frankie, who was rescued. (Just enter “crow” in the search box and you’ll find the back story in a couple of earlier postings. ; )
But a few weeks ago, a horrible fight broke out when a group of other crows came into the backyard. When I heard the unusually loud and different kind of cawing, I threw open the window, and saw them all on the ground under the pine trees. Thankfully, the noise from the window stopped them. I remember they all froze suddenly, looked over at the house, then flew away. But not far. Our four crows were chased mercilessly all day long. It was heartbreaking to watch and hear them crying — and not be able to help. That’s one of the worst feelings…
I prayed for those little guys all day, and then continued as the days wore on. And that’s one reason I got off the blogging track. Another joyful “thing” had been taken away. Now, I know that might sound crazy to some, and “poor me” to others. But I love nature. Everything about it — except the ugly parts like what happened. And I’m not a “poor me” kind of person. I just want the beautiful things in life to stay. But that’s not realistic, is it?
The crows tried to come back a couple of times, but were run away by three others. And then they stayed away. One, though, has come back on his own maybe a couple of times. And early on, on a couple of days, I saw them all fly overhead. At least I thought so. I hoped they were all okay.
Now, some of you might be wondering how I could tell these crows apart from any other ones. Well, when you’ve watched and fed the parents for two years, and then observed the babies, you know. Like part of the family. They had certain distinctive caws they made; the parents were bigger than the new crows, and had tiny bits of white in their feathers that were barely noticeable (Gratzia had a lot); and their actions were different, as they had a certain tree they’d go to and would always greet me enthusiastically when I’d bring them food and water. And Gratzia loved to play with the pine cones. All four of them even followed me down to the grocery store and back a couple of times. I read later that this isn’t uncommon for crows, once they get to know you. ; )
As the days went by and they failed to show up for a meal, I imagined they found a another home somewhere and starting another grand chapter in their lives. Yeah, the writer in me. ; ) But I still hoped to see them show back up here. And those other crows only stop by occasionally. I don’t see the cardinal anymore either. But some other birds like starlings and doves stop by and eat the bread and leftover bird seed.
And then today I heard Gratzia. She was the one that had a very peculiar caw. Not anything like any other crow I’ve ever heard. When I ran down to the mailbox at the shopping center this afternoon, I heard her. She made the same sound she did when she’d see me in the backyard. And as I drove back down the road, she and a bunch of other crows flew a bit in the same direction, and then up into some nearby trees.
Maybe she was calling out, “Hey! Look at me! I’m fine and happy! Don’t worry!” And maybe she was with her other family members, as I didn’t see them well. Maybe they all made peace with those invading crows — that may have been some cranky relatives that moved into town — and now they’re all living happily ever after, having great adventures flying all over the place. And maybe I should write children’s books. ; ) Well, maybe I will. : )
Once again, a lesson from nature… Or, I should say, yet another reminder: Everything changes; nothing stays the same, because it can’t. And if we don’t allow God to change us for the better in all our experiences, then we risk missing out on all the good adventures God still has for us. The birds aren’t the only ones with adventures left to live. ; )
Sometimes life feels like being a kid at the zoo. You wander over to the monkeys and could stay there for hours, but you’re pulled away by your brother to go see the sloths in the special scary exhibit. And you’re fascinated with that and want to stay. And then your sister pulls you away to the cotton-candy stand, and you definitely want to stay there for a while. But then your mom takes you to the bridge where you can toss bird food to the ducks; it’s so peaceful and interesting, time just passes — until your dad pulls you away to go see the elephants. And you’re glad you didn’t miss seeing them. In fact, they become some of your favorite animals.
But that feeling in between all those stops… You’d rather not experience that, the lows of any kind. But they’re inevitable. And they seem to get more difficult as you go along. Nothing as simple as being pulled from your favorite part of a lovely outing. They appear in the forms of hopes dashed, including another rejection slip, not being chosen again for a job you thought would be perfect, a perceived rejection from someone really special, an illness, a broken relationship, a deflated possibility, or hope deferred… Once again, an endless list. Whatever it is that hurts you, add it to that list. Your insides start deflating, until your outsides start feeling a little numb. Sometimes you don’t have the drive to keep trying or even hoping, but you know you have to, so you do.
But there’s another feeling, even worse than just “the lows”… Think back to the zoo. It’s that feeling you have after you enjoy seeing those animals. It’s that feeling of wanting them out of there — that it’s unnatural for them to be behind bars, but you’re helpless to do anything, so you keep returning, knowing they need attention, knowing they need to feel loved. And isn’t that kind of how it is with God too? He sees whatever cage we’re trapped in, whether it’s despair or unbelief or fear, etc. — and He keeps showing up in our lives in different ways — to give us His Love and full attention. But, unlike us with the animals, He’s able to open up those cages that keep us from experiencing true freedom; He only wants our permission…
And then, suddenly, there’s the joy and the peace that flood back up to where you can feel them again. And hope hovers like a special crow that calls out something that only you can hear and understand…
P.S. — I started writing this on the last day of September, but when it’s published, it’ll be the first day of October. Funny how that’s symbolic too. I was rushing, hoping to meet the midnight hour, but that’s gone. It’s history — literally, yesterday. And that’s okay. Time blends into itself, creating momentum.
My letting-go phase is now in full expectancy. I’m stepping forward, as much as I can in my immediate circumstances, ready to receive. Ready to fly in all aspects of this life God’s leading me through, including writing, acting, and meeting my soul mate. Everything that’s seemed deferred… I’m staying in the moment and relishing where I’m at in the here and now, but I also have a new vision of all that’s still possible, while remembering all that’s still, and always will be, important.
Life, I recognize, is odd. It just is sometimes. Odd, with uninvited and unexpected jolts now and then. But you never know when God will appear suddenly in the middle of it all, sometimes as a surprise, and bring you a big hug of hope for all He still has planned for you here…
And it always feels good to hope again…