The Gift Of The Raven
August 29, 2016
Bent, New Mexico
The Gift Of The Raven
I saved a raven from sure death yesterday. He was most fortunate that I chose to go to the dump as it is not my usual habit on a Sunday morning but I had some trash in my truck and was headed to the ranch. Even then I might have missed him but I had picked up two pallets that I decided not to use and I was returning them to where the others were. I backed up to dump them off and there he was, fluttering futilely trying to escape the tangle of fish line wrapped around his leg.
As I approached he simply fell over on his side and lay still. I returned to my truck for my jacket and gloves, grateful I had tossed the cheap pair of scissors into my saw box, even though I had thought not to. They are cheap and dull but you never know when you might need them. The raven never moved, exhausted and resigned to his fate or perhaps in some deeper way certain of his salvation? I covered him with my jacket for his sake and mine and removed my gloves and sat for the next two minutes cutting the ties that bound him. They were wrapped tight around the scaly part of his leg and further up cutting into his skin, painfully swollen from his fight.
He lay still even after I was done and had pulled my jacket away. I carefully took him in my hands and stroked his head and back as he panted for air. His beak was gaping in his terror yet he sat calmly in my hands. His eye rolled back to look at me and perhaps I saw a glimmer of appreciation? I spoke to him softly before I set him free, wishing I had my camera for one more picture but not wanting to add any more to his ordeal. He sat for but a moment before he took flight, strong enough to survive and lucky to be alive. I watched him go, grateful for his strength.
I shared the event with a friend and we spoke of how wonderful it is when we can do such good deeds. We had both had a few such opportunities and I have always felt it was a gift to be brought to that perfect place and time to perform them. I have come to view such happenings as divine intervention and to accept the affirmation that I have been given the chance to give back some small part of what has been given to me. Many years ago I prayed for deliverance and was freed from my dilemma and I have never forgotten that. Instead I am devoted to giving back the same at every opportunity, grateful when they are presented to me. My friend agreed.
I didn’t sleep well last night, just too many things on my mind I suppose, even if my life is good right now. I am always restless this time of year and I am too busy to take the time off I need to gather my thoughts. I had to force myself to get up but when I stepped out the door I was greeted by the harsh cackle of a raven, close by. Just above me on the hill there was a large bird teetering on the pinion tree. He sat still as I walked out and I spoke to him in passing before he departed. My heart lifted at the greeting and I paused to wonder if it could be the same bird, or perhaps his kin, there to thank me for my efforts. I believe in such things, that even if so many of our deeds are subtly returned to us sometimes the reward is direct, and I have always had an affinity with the ravens. As if in affirmation two more ravens flew past in the early dawn, sailing as they do on the thermals. One even tipped and spun as he went past and then returned to hover over my head, suspended for a moment in the morning sky. Coincidence? Perhaps, but doubtful all the same and I was so willing to take the gift of his presence. I may not be in danger but I needed a little lift this morning. It was the gift of the raven that offered it to me.