I am meditating in the garden. I hear a fluttering near me and open my eyes. There, beside me, is a large black crow staring, cocking his head, peering at me curiously. He speaks.
“What are you doing?”
“I am meditating, what are you doing?” For whatever reason, I am not frightened nor surprised. Have I lost my mind?
“Are you Linda Lee?”
“I am. Why do you ask?” As if I have always talked to crows.
” Well, I have some trinkets for you. I will bring you one tomorrow.”
“What do you mean, trinkets?”
With a grand flap of his iridescent blue-black wings he flew away.
I pause, wondering what this is about and if what just happened is even real. I tell no one. Who would believe a talking crow?
The next day, I go into the garden to meditate. I have been meditating for ten minutes and again, his presence beside me. He has something in his mouth. Drops it in my lap. I look down, and there is a silver tarnished charm with praying hands. The back has the serenity prayer engraved on it.
“Where did you get this,” I ask.
“Don’t you remember this charm? This is the charm your father gave you on your 12th birthday. The only gift you ever received from him.”
Startled, I recall the incident. My father gives me a birthday card when I am visiting. Inside the card is this charm scotch taped.
“How did you acquire this?”
“Do you remember when you went through a period where you were angry with your father? I was there when you threw this out your bedroom window. I have kept it all these years until I knew you were ready to accept it again.”
Tears rolling down my face, I grasp the charm in my hand, remembering my dad and that day. I rub it between my fingers, removing the tarnish, It begins to shine.
“Thank you. But why?”
“Because I knew you would want it. I have more lost treasures from your past.”
Again he flew.
I search for crows on my computer. They are very intelligent. The oldest known living crow was 29.5 years. Crows sometimes make and use tools. Examples include a captive crow using a cup to carry water over to a bowl of dry mash; shaping a piece of wood and then sticking it into a hole in a fence post in search of food; and breaking off pieces of pine cone to drop on tree climbers near a nest. They are collectors of things. Shiny objects, string, stones. Anything that catches their eye. Certainly nothing about them talking.
If my crow was around when I was twelve, he is much older than the oldest known crow.
The following day, I go to my garden. I sit on the bench and begin my daily meditation. The crow appears beside me, waiting.
“What do you have for me today?” It’s an oval-shaped dinner ring with 3 tiny diamonds.
“This was my mother’s! I never thought I would see it again after I had to sell it. How did you get this?”
The crow eyes me watching, trying to judge if I am ready to hear what he has to say.
“When you sold this ring to that stranger I followed him when he left your house. Once he stopped at his home, I was there. The man called his wife outside to show her what he bought her. Hands clasped behind his back, he tells her to choose a hand. She says left. He holds his left hand out and opens it. I swooped in at that second and snatched the ring. Flew back to my nest and hid it among your other things.”
I am dumbfounded.
Over the course of a week, the crow comes when I am meditating. He brings me a different trinket each day from my past. One day it is the white silk rose I wore in my hair for my first school picture. Another, the first red rose, now dried and withered, given to me by my husband. A tattered Mother’s Day card from my daughter. The yellow ribbon from my favorite dress as a child. The silver cross necklace I lost all those years ago. On the last day, he brings a a yellowed poem cut from a newspaper.
I stare at it increduously. I cry because this is the poem I found after my husband killed himself. It had a profound effect on me. The poem was in the local newspaper. I found an old weathered edition in my yard one week after his death. Dated February 18,1994. The day he died. I knew there was a message for me in that newspaper. I combed every page. I found it in a Dear Abbey column. I thought I had lost it many years ago. Yet, I am holding it in my hands. Unbelievable, I know.
I don’t understand. How? Why?
He stares, piercing me with his dark brown eyes.
“When you were here every day in the garden questioning life, I received a message from God. He sent me to remind you that miracles still exist. Happen every day if you watch for them. Listen. Feel. See with your heart. And even during your lowest points in life, he is there to help you grow through the pain. He feels your strength and revels in your soul growth. What better way to prove that miracles exist than a talking crow who gives you trinkets?”
He opened his mouth as if to smile, cocked his head and winked.
And with those words echoing in the air he flew away for the last time.
Linda lee Lyberg