Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Gathering of the Crows

Late afternoon, the day before winter's solstice. Sky bluish-pink, snow whitish-blue. From the window of my study, high on a hill, I watch the crows swoop down, settle like black leaves on bare tree limbs. Hundreds dot the cold, dusky air, inhabit the landscape. It's a noisy conclave, resounding with caws and strange crow clicks. Then eerie silence as they seem to wait, poised for some signal, mysterious to me.

Crows no longer come here in summer. Since the invasion of West Nile, mockingbirds and blue jays have usurped their realm. But today the crows have mustered their forces and gathered in vast numbers, as if to assert their dominion over the coming winter.

The light fades, the wind shifts, one among them makes a decision, and they all lift off into the twilight, pervading the world with their triumphant cries.

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