One of the things that I've learned by living on -- and paying attention to -- this one little piece of land for a number of years: the crows always crow for a discernible reason. Months can go by and I neither hear nor see a crow. But when a murder of crows shows up and the crows make their insistent caw, there's a reason and I'll be able to discern it.
This morning, when I came out onto the porch with my mug of coffee and my bacon sandwich, the crows were in rare form, flying amazing formations through the sky above my yard and my next-door-neighbor's yard, and cawing up a storm. I waited and watched, but I'd almost decided that the warning was about something to come later today when: There. She. Was.
I've seen her, or, given their life span in the "wild," it could have been her grandam, a few times before. And, lately, my neighbors have been seeing her and worrying. She's "wild" after all, and she could "go after a dog or cat, you know." But my relationship with her is different. She doesn't show herself to me very often. But, when she does, she tells me the same thing that G/Son and I tell squirrels and birds and does: I would never hurt you.
The land here roils in odd hills; my yard slopes downwards both from South to North and from East to West. It's part of what made landscaping here a special problem. And the two yards behind me to the South have steep, sudden, odd hills, held back by cracked and crumbling retaining walls, curtains of ivy, and the roots of white crepe myrtle, covered now in blooms. And that's where I saw her, leaping from retaining wall to crepe myrtle steppe to high hill. She paused upon the high hill, displaying herself to me, ignoring the crows as a star ignores paparazzi. She looked at me across the valley of my neighbor's yard, across the plateau I've made of mine, through the screen porch, into my soul. And, then, she disappeared behind the retaining wall, though the ivy, to what I hope is her v secure den. Benediction delivered. Thank you for alerting me, Dear Murder.
All day, all day, all day, I remembered her, her calm repose under pressure, the silent message of her lovely long body displayed from East to West, standing secure upon a broken ledge.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."