Most days really. And there are no spare minutes to go swanning off after bluebirds.
There are days that are just endless paper jamming — waiting on hold — stuck in traffic — number crunching — brain numbing — is it over yet? — sorts of days.
At these times you need crows. And rust. And weeds growing in cracks in the asphalt.
The beauty of crows is …
Ah well, there are so many things that are beautiful about crows …
OK, let’s just say that one of the great things about crows is that, here in Vancouver at least, there is almost always one handy to distract you for a moment.
Even when you’re stuck in traffic, waiting for that freight train to budge, or the log jam of cars to clear, you can almost always catch a glimpse of a crow or two doing something interesting and/or silly within view. The trick is not to get too interested so you miss when the traffic starts to move.
Sometimes a crow in the right light can be the perfect substitute for a Mountain Bluebird — Vancouver’s very own bluebird of happiness.
No matter how rushed and boring a day, there’s usually at least time for a ten minute walk outside.
And, if you look a little bit sideways, put your eyes out of focus a little, you can find beautiful things almost anywhere.
“There are things you can’t reach. But you can reach out to them, and all day long.
I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.
Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around as though with your arms open.”
From — Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End? –by Mary Oliver
Smithrite with awesome graffiti, including (in elegant script) the word “knit.”
Flowering quince in evening light against a the side of peeling set of concrete stairs.
If you can’t get to the woods, sometimes a miniature horsetail forest will do.
Of course, there are days much worse than the paper jam days.
There are days when you’re in pain. Days when you receive very bad news.
Days when you feel as if you are nothing more than a hollow conduit for an endless river of sadness.
I’ve had days like those too, and ordinary, or even extraordinary, beauty alone would not do the trick.
But it’s always been there, part of the healing recipe of family, friends, doctors, medicine, therapy and time.
Crows, rust, weeds, poetry, clouds, trees, the sound of wind, bird calls, snippets of graffiti, lichen, peeling paint, the occasional raven or mountain bluebird — they all seem like the dots and dashes of a distant morse code message.
The meaning is alway just out of reach, but it gives purpose to each day to attempt the translation.