Whenever I hear the call of crow it strikes a cord in me. Part memory perhaps but more than that - a resonance I cannot properly explain.
It has always seemed to me that crows take notice of us in a way other birds don't. When I hear their call, I look up and see them watching. They seem wise and curious and wild. And I am always glad to see them.
My boyfriend feels differently. He is more focused than I on what they eat and sensitive to color. When a crow crosses his path, he thinks of ill luck and death.
Which is not to say that he dislikes crows only that they make him uneasy. He does in fact love all animals and was understandably upset to kill a crow quite by accident several weeks ago while driving. Sadly, the bird flew into the side mirror of his car and died apparently on impact.
It was an unusual accident. Doubly remarkable because the short of string of events it set in motion caused a delay and that kept my loved one just far enough behind a freeway pile up to avoid it being part of it. For this I am grateful.
It may be arrogant to think of the death of any animal as a circumstance which prevents human injury but the truth is this death did do just that. I can't help wondering if this particular crow carried a message? And if a miscalculation mid-flight resulted in the sad circumstance of its delivery?
I cannot know for sure. But I can say that the crow's untimely death has made me think. How did society at large come to associate crows with bad luck or death? Is this symbolism its own type of miscalculation? And what does this say about signs and superstition and the relatively subtle difference between omen and warning?