Raven photo by Kevin T. Carlson
I am posting love stories to celebrate Valentine's Day (see the February 11th posting).
A longtime member of the American Society of Crows and Ravens, I read this heartfelt tribute in a recent newsletter. It is a poignant testament to the power of love.
Tribute to Blackie, companion raven
September 25, 2008
This afternoon I laid to rest the greatest teacher I was honored to learn from in this life, my beloved “Blackie,” the most beautiful, courageous raven to have lived – at least in my eyes. She shared my life and my home with me for nearly 25 years.
Dick and I rescued her from a snow bank one evening alongside a desolate stretch of road on December 23rd. She had shot in her left leg and in her left wing. Her shoulder was shattered and she would never fly again.
There, my journey into compassion, unconditional love, and true personal sacrifice began. She transformed a shallow, self-absorbed human into a brighter, more enlightened being. From then on, I never sat down to a meal without feeding her first, learned that sticking my fingers in bird poop while cleaning raven mess was not a distasteful job, but a true labor of love. I learned to appreciate her wonderful sense of humor and marvel at her keen intelligence.
But her injuries from long ago finally caught up with her. She could no longer get to her perches because her leg became stiff with arthritis. She was also going blind. She had difficulty getting around her yard. I don’t know how old Blackie truly was because she was an adult, fully imprinted in the wild, when we rescued her. Now, I have to learn to live without her; no more shopping for food she prefers, rising at dawn to let her outside each day, hearing her amazing repertoire, putting her wishes first, and laughing at her constant mischievous antics.
I have lived with her longer than any other living being in this life.
Tonight, with all my heart, I need to believe that, at long last, finally shed of her crippled body, Blackie flies again and can soar free and unfettered. And I need to believe that when I can finally shed this body of mine, that she will be there to greet me and show me the way to the Other Side.
This afternoon, after all these many years, I was finally able to kiss that lovely, long black beak, made luminous with my tears. My Blackie, my friend.
Corvi 52, Engadine, Michigan