As three crows circle a dead tree…

*I totally stole the title from Old Crow Medicine Show’s haunting ballad, Tennessee Pusher. Have a listen won’t you? It’s quite enchanting. 


I’ve always have intrigued by crows. Even as a child I would watch, with awe, as they flew black against the grey, unforgiving skies of winter, screeching out into the void. Mysterious, loyal, cunning, and smart, they always seem so sure of their purpose and diligent in their duties.

There are two old, fat crows who appear in my yard every morning. We have become distant friends, these feathered creatures and I. Drinking my morning coffee, I wait on them. Gripping with excitement, anticipation building as I sip from my mug, until at last, I hear their morning caws. My coffee and the crows. On mornings that they do not show up, or I am too lazy and sleep in, my whole seems to be in disarray. They are the welcoming promise of the day.

There’s a certain comfort in familiar rituals.

While in San Fransisco this past May, my travel buddy and I had the chance to visit Alcatraz Island. There, I instantly spotted a crow and spent the better part of half an hour watching him watch me. Getting almost close enough to stroke his silky black feathers. I followed him throughout the island, watching him go about his day-to-day activities as only crows can do. He seemed ancient and so knowing, like he was personal friends with every ghost haunting the abandoned prison.


Crows are great messengers and it is best to heed their warnings or to trust in their omens. Does trouble loom? Is spirit trying to speak to you? Will there be a sudden change in the weather or is death near? The crow knows.

They provide a service as travelers and bringers of messages and warnings between our world and the spirit world, connecting both with the flapping of their wings.

We find the crow as the bringer of one’s true love in the movie How to Make an American Quilt. The main character is told to follow the crow, as it will bring her to her destiny. Will you follow the crow to yours? The wise old bird is always right it seems, surrender in trust.

On Counting Crows

I cannot remember where I first heard about the meaning of counting crows, I’m sure it was in a dusty old almanac somewhere. I’ve memorized it by heart after all these years, and still count every time I see them.

One’s bad

Two’s luck

Three’s health

Four’s wealth

Five’s sickness

Six is death



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