I got in touch with my inner consumer this week by running the box store gauntlet twice in one day. This stretch of road passes between all the box stores you could possibly want on one side and all the box stores you didn’t know you wanted but now that you’ve seen you can’t live without on the other side.
Simply being surrounded by so much available stuff triggered the “I must need something” center in my brain. I felt the steering wheel pull to the right and had to consciously resist entering the parking lot where, of course, all would be lost. It helped that I was already late to my destination.
A few minutes later, I saw a wounded crow on the side of the road. It kept trying to fly and rolling forward instead. I’m not sure it could even walk. In all likelihood, a hawk ate it by the end of the day.
I’m sure I have no idea how a dying crow views life. I’ve been thinking recently that I don’t know how my cat conceptualizes me, whether he’s capable of understanding, for example, which part of me is my mouth and that he has a body part with a similar function. I spend much less time with crows than my cat spends with me, but the crow seemed to me in need of some comfort; he appeared panicked every time his body didn’t work the way it was supposed to.
So I pictured him being held by a loving force and eventually flying away. It was all I could do, and there’s no way to know whether it had any effect. But this is how I believe the world works—that somehow sending out that thought or energy can make a difference.
It’s so odd that in this same life, on this same stretch of road, there are times to resist the mundane temptation of too much of everything and times for the complete mystery of holding dying crows in our hearts. Stranger yet and more difficult is the attempt not to count one more dear than the other but to consider that because they are both here, they both have a place in this world.
Note: I stole the title of this post from the poem “Snow” by Louis MacNeice.