The sun was just coming up this morning as I showered, and the light reflected off the snow and in through my shower window. (Yes, we have a window in our shower...and I love it) I stood and watched the water sparkle through the sunlight as it showered down. Beautiful (though a bit cold due to our malfunctioning water heater).
I walked carefully down the drive, shuffling my feet so as not to slip and slide on the ice and fall. The snow on the back lawn was perfect. The top of it sparkled in the sunlight as the sun started to peek up through the branches of the trees in the back yard. Beautiful (though a bit cold...several inches of the white stuff).
Driving down the road, I was thinking about Sam playing in the snow last night (pictures will be posted later tonight). And I was thinking about spending the long Thanksgiving weekend with Steve. And I was thinking about an email my mom sent me that I hadn't yet responded to. And I was laughing at the comment my brother-in-law posted last night, giving me nightmare images to beat all nightmare images. :o) And I was wondering if Kristin's MOM bracelet had arrived yet. And I was wondering how Rachel was doing today, after a particularly heartwrenching day yesterday for her friends. I was thinking about my friend M, and how I owe her an email to see how they're doing in their new house.
And I was smiling. I was thinking about all these people who bless my life and I was smiling. Then I saw them...an entire flock of crows. Some in the trees, some on the ground, some just coming in for a landing in both places.
My mom calls them my "familiar." No, my mom's not a witch. But she is a student of other cultures...particularly historical ones. She knows about ancient languages and dressing rituals for women in different centuries. She reads...a lot. We used to make fun of her when I was a kid because she could tune out the rest of the world while reading her books. Today, I admire her desire to learn...and to share interesting information we otherwise might never learn.
But I digress...
So anyway...A familiar animal, in folklore, is an animal believed to be possessed of magic powers such as the ability to change its shape. It may be a temporary form assumed by a spirit, devil or trickster god. Together in the same genus are ravens, crows, jackdaws, and rooks. Natives of northwestern North America consider Raven the Creator of the World. In some religions, ravens are considered to be sacred messengers, or the eyes and ears of gods. (thanks wikipedia)
I have identified the crow (or the raven) as my familiar from the day I took the bar exam the third time and knew I passed. I had always previously been under the impression that crows were bad luck. I suppose I read too much Edgar Allen Poe in high school. I remember riding to and from my motel room on all three days of the exam...and, as I pondered the questions I knew or didn't know the answers to, noting a single crow sitting on a telephone wire...on every single trip (six trips total). I even remember seeing one sitting on the wire in the Subway parking lot where Steve and I ate lunch. At the first sighting, I realized I didn't have a sense of bad luck at all...rather, just the opposite. And I told myself that seeing the crow was a sign that I was going to pass that exam this time (third time's a charm, ya know). But when I continued to see them on each and every trip...I knew.
Since then I have seen a crow whenever I've been pondering if I'm travelling down the right path in my life. And after Sam was born, and I was questioning some family matter, I would see them grouped together in threes and I would know it was going to be ok. Looking back now, I realize that when I was pregnant with Alex, I would see them in groups of four...but always with one off by itself...a group of three...and then one more. I remember seeing the three and almost holding my breath until I saw the fourth. In fact, I knew on the way to the doctor's office that morning that Alex had died because I saw my three on the hill...and then one more way off in the distant trees. (Perhaps I should have gotten the message sooner?)
So today, when I was thinking of all of the people who bless my life...to look up and see so many crows...
I'm still smiling at the beauty of it all.