Sunday, June 3, 2012

Three Ravens

A few weeks ago, I wrote of a raven who flew at my car's passenger side door - so closely that I could see his talons curled up in to his underbelly - it had been black on black, but I saw them all the same.

In the past week or so, I have seen two other ravens.

Well, I have seen many ravens, actually - there are many, in Spokane - they often travel in flocks - a "hell," I believe it is called when they gather together like that (no, a "murder" it is - I stand corrected - and that is for the crow and not the raven) (these have been so large that they can't be crows) (that's the rule).

In any case - I recently have seen two more ravens in striking locations, like I saw the first. These new two so strikingly have appeared from what seems like nowhere that, as with their brother from a few weeks ago, they are imbedded images in my brain for ever - or at least for now.

One of these two stood up on the tip of the top of the building next to my office building - and seemingly waited until he caught my eye, so that I first could see him so perched for a moment - just a moment! - before he fell forward and downward in dramatic dive.

Here is a photo - not of the bird but of the roof on which he stood (at its highest point)...

... because, before I even thought of taking a photo, it was too late - he already had taken his dive, and come within feet of the ground before circling back up and flying away.

And then there was a third Raven. This one also startled. I was driving on May 30 in late afternoon to a parish in Spokane - St. Aloysius, a Jesuit parish on Gonzaga U's campus. I was headed there because it was the anniversary of the death of Joan of Arc, and it seemed fitting to light a candle and say a prayer on her behalf at that location. As I drove on Sharp Avenue, I sensed a presence outside my window - and yet I knew there was no car to my left, driving along my side. I glanced to see what the presence was. It was a Raven - my third in a matter of weeks. He flew alongside me, at almost-eye level - perhaps a bit above that, but not by much - and stayed so for about a block - until, I'm sure, he was confident that I had witnessed his parallel flight - and then he swooped up and away, with an imperceptible nod.

I felt - what should I say - approved? Yes - that whatever I was doing was acknowledged, appreciated - approved.

(And notice: I did not modify "imperceptible" with the word "near" - for I do not know that I even saw the nod that I'm describing.)

It was a trio of ravens on a trilogy of days. Perhaps that is what a flock of ravens should be called - a trilogy.

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