For a few weeks just at the end of winter before we set the clocks ahead and the evenings were filled with yellow light, I'd leave work just after the sun had set; the sky still stained blue and tangerine with the remnants of the sun's grandur, and I'd look up, reacquainting myself with the wideness of the heavens and the moon and the geometry of rooflines and I'd see them:
Sometimes just a few, other times so ten or twelve, or even dozens flying all in the same direction, their harsh calls filling the darkening air; and one day looking out the window of my car I saw their silhouettes gathering in the tree tops in an empty patch of land between the electricity co-op and a renovated factory building.
Not ten or twelve, but hundreds, thousands of crows.
The first day I kept driving, smiling to myself at the strange figment of wonder I'd witnessed. The next day leaving work the sky was full of crows again, and when I drove past, I drove more slowly, starring. On the sidewalk people were walking to and fro as if it were a normal occurrence; as if the thousands of crows covering every tree top above them were something utterly ordinary.
The third day I left work a few minutes early on purpose. The moon above me was completely round and white, pinned on the azure blanket of twilight like a cameo brooch, and when I got to the maples, they were already black silhouettes against the sky.
I parked behind the factory and walked out to the edge of the trees, and oh, I've never heard anything like it.
Pure wildness, the sound of thousands of crows. All calling, all cawing at once, their wings simultaneously beating the air and the settling.
I watched until my fingers grew cold, and my cheeks flushed and then I turned reluctantly to go.
The next day there were only a few--maybe a dozen in the trees, and today there weren't any there at all.
This life. Take note.
Make time for the reckless detour, the irrational urge to pause and be transformed by wonder.