Big Black Bird

The Crow Pose.

As I hunker down on all fours, place my hands on the ground in front of me, shifting all of my weight forward, trying to hoist my knees up onto my elbows,  and balance all of my body weight on my hands my mind begins to wander. How in the world this Yoga pose ever got its name is beyond me.

“Even if you only raise one foot from the ground, it’s okay. This is your time on the mat.  Listen to your body.”

Right.  My body is telling me this is not how a crow stands.  Ever.

But I continue to try, as futile as it seems.  Try is the key operative word here.  I teeter and fall over, focus, reset, and try all over again, and again.  My intention is to eventually be able to achieve this pose, although at times I’m not sure why it’s so important for me to do it.

Perhaps it has to do with accepting and embracing the challenge.

Life is full of challenges, and not just for us mere mortals.  Life is challenging for all beings on this planet.  At the top of the food chain, we humans claim to have a leg up advantage with our keen intellect that separates us from all other forms of life. But there are other species out there that also seem to have it all figured out.

Take the Crow, for example.

As I lay peacefully slumbering in a quaint little lakeside cabin in the great north woods, the sky slowly begins its transition from night to first glimpses of mornings light.  All is peaceful.  All is at rest.  All is…..

“CAWWW!   CAWWWWW!  CAWWWW!”

And so it begins.

I am haunted, and downright taunted, by crows at the crack of dawn. They are relentless. They do not give up.  They have accepted and embrace the challenge.

“What challenge?”  You ask.

Well, the challenge of getting me up and out the door to feed them peanuts.  Yes, you heard me, they want their peanuts.

I am highly irritated.  ARGHHHH this wouldn’t be happening if they hadn’t been trained to expect daily peanut feedings whenever humans are present.  I had no hand in this, mind you.  I don’t believe in interfering with the circle of life by feeding wild animals. But to those big black birds, we humans all look the same.  They don’t care that I’m not their normal food giver.  They know I’m in here, and they want their breakfast now!  They continue to caw, and caw and caw, with no breaks.  Mother crow has several babies to feed, and those are some big babies.  She has things all figured out.  She knows I am the human that can pull the lid off of that big metal can and fetch peanuts for her family. Resistance is futile.

“CAWWWW!  CAWWW! CAWWWWWWW!”   She flits from tree to tree, trying to peer into the cabin as I roll over and bury my headBlackBird2 under the pillow.  Her kids perch in branches on the hillside, close to their “feeding area” eagerly awaiting a signal.

“CAWWWWWWWWWW!” Dad chimes in from a distance as if to ask “did you get her ass out of bed yet?  Where’s breakfast?”

I’m not doing it.  I’m just NOT!  And I try to shut out the incessant cawing of the big black birds.  But now, they have wrecked any hope of me falling back to sleep.  Round one goes to the black birds.

Eventually, I do roll out of bed— to take care of my own family’s needs, and head to the outhouse.

“CAWWW!  CAWWWWWW!”  Mama Crow hollers to me from the trees.  I look up to see big black blobs dotting the mighty oaks along the property line.

No!  I am not allowing this to happen!  I ignore her cries, all the way to the outhouse and back, and through most of the morning. This does not make her happy.  They finally fly off, filling the sky with black feathers.  Ha, round two goes to me!

I do a little work, a little housekeeping, and a little relaxing.  After taking the girls for a walk and bringing Buddy up to the Gazebo it’s time to pull out the lawn chair for some tanning time.  Ahhh, I’m horizontal.

“CAWWW!  CAWWWWWWWWWW!”  She is back again with the entire family of 6, and let me tell you, the natives are getting restless.  They are dropping down from the trees to the ground, just 20 yards away from the lawn chair, picking at the ground and empty hulls and giving me dirty looks.  She struts over to the magical metal can on the side of the cabin and eyes it up and down.

“Caw! Cawww!” the kids begin to chime.  She is staring me down with her beady black eyes.  She opens her wings toward me like a scene out of ‘Dominion’ or something, then she gently rises up to the cabin rooftop, looking down on the peanut can.

“CAWWWW!  CAWWW! CAWWWWWWW!”  She demands again.  She is relentless.  She will not give up.  She has accepted and embraces the challenge.

Oh yeah, I am one tough human.   I am just waiting for her to start trying to wing check me on the lawn chair.  She would have a pretty good fly at me from the corner of the rooftop.  I glance over to the babies.  Those are some big black baby birds.  I look over to her again.  Suddenly, I feel sorry for her. Dang. She’s really got her ‘wings’ full with that brood.

She cocks her head sideways at me…..“CAWW.”

“Ohhh….FFFFFFFFFFFINE!”  I reluctantly get up and storm over to the peanut can, grabbing two fists full of them. Then I turn to their “feeding area” and sprinkle them across the ground.Blackbird4

I barely escape to my lawn chair before the frenzy begins.  The 6 big black birds cover the hillside, mom dropping down, grabbing a peanut and pecking it open.  The kids all standing there with their heads tipped back, cawing like mad for a food drop.  That poor mother crow about wore herself out running from baby to baby trying to feed them all.  Aren’t they big enough to feed themselves? Dad stayed back, grabbing for an outer edge peanut, then would hop off out of sight to enjoy it in peace.  How typical.

I had placed the last few peanuts on the black iron patio chairs facing the lake.  One of the babies hopped up on a chair.  Mother crow quickly scolded the baby to get down.  When he wouldn’t, she glanced over to me.  As I witnessed the dynamics of this family of big black birds, I developed a new appreciation for the Crow Pose.

BlackBird3Oh yes, my dear, if you are going to demand something from me, I want something from you.  By the end of October, you will be taking peanuts from my hand on that chair.  I will focus, and set up a plan, and try.   Remember, I am the human that can pull the lid off of that big metal can and fetch your peanuts.  My intention is to eventually be able to achieve this connection with you, although I’m not sure why it’s so important for me to do it.

Perhaps it has to do with accepting and embracing the challenge.

Resistance is futile.

She hops up on the chair and pecks open the peanut, glancing nervously at me.

I accept and embrace the challenge.  So begins the taming of a big black bird.

 

What’s the latest challenge you’ve taken on?  I’d love to hear about it!    Feel free to check out more posts under Girl Outdoors, and share with others! 

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