18 April 2004

(29) Hypnosis

" I've got an old 4 wheel drive Chevy truck, and one of the things I love to do is to go for slow rambling rides on the rural roads where I grew up at. I especially love doing this in February, when the cold Michigan winter turns frigid and bitter. I'll stop and walk the frozen swamps and pine woods, feeling how fragile I am in the 20 below wind chill, and come away with a feeling of awe, and of being recharged and cleansed. Some times when I'm driving along a cornfield (on these infrequently plowed roads) the road will disappear due to drifting and blowing snow, and I'll find myself driving 10 feet into the field, parallel to the road, when the road reappears.

It was one such day that I came upon 3 crows standing in a cornfield at the edge of a wood, foraging for something to eat on the frozen earth. Crows are pretty strange creatures, being very social, highly intelligent, and always ready to surprise me. I was reminded of a strange crow encounter that occurred awhile back. I was driving home one day on a dirt road and came upon 3 crows on the side of the road. There was something in the middle of them, and I slowed down and stopped a ways from them to see what they were up to. There was a squirrel sitting up, and on either side of him, about 2 feet away, 2 crows faced him. Facing the squirrel about a foot and a half away was the other crow. As I watched, the crow facing head on suddenly sprang forward and beaked the squirrel between the eyes, knocking him over. At this point they all pounced on the squirrel and that was that. It was almost as if they where mesmerizing the squirrel until he was too spaced out to flee. I couldn't believe what I saw, and replayed the scene in my head for a long time after. Who would believe me?

In a strange twist of luck, Becca and I were driving down another road a few years later and came upon the same scene being reenacted. We stopped and watched, but after a minute the squirrel got distracted by our presence, shook itself free of the spell the crows put on it, and fled. Our world is full of so many strange wonders.

Which brings me back to the frozen road, the minus double digit wind chill, and 3 crows that turned their heads as one and looked at me. In my head, as plain as if someone were next to me, I heard the words:

"We travel in threes
We know you've noticed
To thrive, survive
You've got to focus."