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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crows and Other Springtime Manifestations . . .

Here's what happened to me this morning. I heard, then saw, a crow—the first one I've seen or heard in months. Crows still exist!


I have before me a picture of two crows. They are silhouetted against a golden sky as they perch on the twisted branch of a twisted tree. They are crows from ages past, and they are entertaining each other with crow-speak, commenting on us as we walk under the gnarled leafless branches.


But not completely leafless! The spring-time burgeoning has begun, and each branch and twig sprouts incipient leaves, at this point just vaguely elliptical bumps against the gold. The leaflets are almost too perfect. The artist must have added them for effect. Can there be a real tree this well-proportioned, this well-suited to being perched on by a pair of curious crows?


I saw a lot more during this morning's outing. I was awake today, for at least part of the trip, and a lot was there to be seen by an awake person.


The usual wind-tunnel between my house and the subway was more like a hurricane highway this morning. The cold damp wind, reflecting the mood of the white overcast sky, picked up speed, ripped my beret off my head, and nearly flung me into the air. I pictured myself flying, wondering where (and how) I would land. In my mind's eye I looked like a character in a Chagall painting. It felt freeing, but the vision of flying distracted me from the reality of the situation: this wind was almost dangerous. "Old woman killed walking to subway" is the probable headline, though I might prefer "Seeking woman carried off on new quest."


What else did I see? I turned a corner and came face to face with a boxer dog, whose owner, attached by a leash, lagged behind. The owner acknowledged me with a glance. The dog did not.


I saw a house where work is being done on two parts of the upper story. Both sections were covered with blue tarps, and the tarps were whipping violently away from the open areas they were supposed to cover. I was glad it wasn't my house being worked on.


I saw a nanny, not dressed warmly enough for the windy cold, pushing a toddler in his stroller. He leaned away from the wind and looked at me as if to say, "Who the hell decided to bring me out in this weather?"


Copyright 2008 Ann Tudor