Sunday, June 05, 2011


As I was putting on my suit coat to leave for church this morning, loud, obnoxious crow calls joined the peaceful chirping of the small birds around the apartment complex.

I bid her farewell (she was glad to see me go, too - I'd interrupted her genealogical train of thought...), walked down the stairs and onto the front walk. Two huge crows swept over my shoulder about 15 feet up. They flew ahead, crossing to my left, cawing all the while, their calls slicing sharply through the normally peaceful morning.

Stopping on the sidewalk, I looked back up toward my apartment. To my surprise, I saw two more enormous birds sitting on one of the chimneys above my front window. They began calling to the other two, who soon returned, settling, with some seating disagreement, on a chimney above the neighbor's apartment. One of the birds was chased off for a bit, perhaps his breath disagreed with the others...

Pondering a bit if there were any symbolism, hidden message or meaning in the unexpected Sabbath visit by those noisome dark birds, I continued on my way. Stephen King's The Stand came to mind, with it's use of the crow representing the evil antagonist, as well as the well-documented Paiute belief that visits by owls generally portend imminent death. Thankfully, neither thought seemed to fit the morning's activities. I walked through the complex and out the back gate, the loud calls clearly audible, but fading as I proceeded.

A little more than a quarter-mile later, the crow calls suddenly became louder. A crow flew over me again, proceeding East-northeast as he voiced his unintelligible opinion. Shortly, he was followed by a noisy companion, traveling to an unknown destination.

My eyes followed their flight, and again my thoughts turned inward, looking for further meaning, at the same time wondering how long she would have any not-so-peaceful sentinels perched above her on the chimney.