"Anthem" by Leonard Cohen

"The birds they sang at the break of day
Start again, I heard them say
Don't dwell on what has passed away
or what has yet to be...

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"

Friday, February 8, 2008

Minstrel Girl

Dancing with the Wind
Originally uploaded by musicmuse_ca
As I am driving down on the Eastern side of the Cascade Range in Oregon, I am wearing a Raven necklace I just bought at the store at the Warm Springs Reservation. The necklace represents the Native American tale of Raven who stole both the sun and the moon for the people from the Sky Chief’s home.

As the story goes, through magic, he transformed himself into a leaf that was swallowed by the Sun Chief’s daughter. He gestated in her womb and became her baby. After he was born, he managed to trick the Sky Chief into first giving him the moon and then the sun to play with. He accidentally bounced the moon out of a hole in the sky so that the people below could see by its light in the blackness of night. He stole the sun outright, bringing daylight through this same hole to the dark world of the people below.

I feel almost as grateful as those ancient ones as I drive from the weekend of gray clouds and rain into the sunny skies of the high desert.

But this is not the real reason why I am wearing the necklace.

I am wearing it in honor of an unusual encounter I had with a raven on January 1, 2001. I was in a favorite spot at a music camp in the redwood forest of the Coast Range near Big Basin State Park. The park was a densely wooded area in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was clear and crisp, and the sun was shining brightly in the cool winter skies. I was singing, accompanied by my guitar, for some friends seated outside under the Coast Redwoods and the Knobcone Pine trees. While I sang, a large jet-black Raven perched in a pine tree nearby and sang along with me. As I finished my song, he called out to me with a loud caw-cawing, growing louder as the song came to an end.

For the rest of the day, my raven friend followed me from cabin to cabin, listening for my singing and joining in again and again with his unique raven harmony.

I felt it was a sign, but did not know of what.

1 comment:

BuckarooBob said...

a great sign, to make that link to the natural world. Raven took a "shine" to you.

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