The Good In Bad Signs


Everyone talks about a murder of crows like it’s a bad thing. Specks of ominous black perched against leafless trees, burdening the night sky with their mysterious apathy, scattering guiltily all at once like a crime has truly just been committed. I saw them tonight, after dinner, and it struck me cold.

Perhaps it was the bleakness with which the last month—November—had entered our lives. The changes its brought. The signs and symbols its shown me, that I’ve tried hopelessly to sift through to find some semblance of truth. Sometimes life has a way of burning off the dead bits to blaze you a new trail. I once had a fortune teller explain that the “death” card in its tarot stack didn’t usually mean a literal death, but a metaphorical one.  Ever since then I’ve looked curiously at seemingly ominous symbols, wondering, what kind of death do you stand for? How can you help me end something I don’t want in my life?

As humans we are terrified of endings, terrified of the changing of one thing into another. But the death of old patterns, toxic energy, and draining environments is good. It’s a positive ending, one that gives hope to a new beginning. Tonight, as their tiny bodies emptied out of the sky, flock upon flock of motioning matter, I chose to see the murder’s presence as a death to hopelessness; a death to those moments where I can't see beyond my own nose and my own foul thinking. (That's a really intense bird pun and I hope you picked up on it, because I don't like to waste those.) I chose to see it as a death of bad energy. And I believed, for one small, possibly wine-fueled moment, that this moment was the start of something better. And isn’t that so, so good?