I heard the call, a loud kwarrkk! from deep in the wetlands north of the field, where I had seen them disappear twice before — wingspreads too big for a crow, black undulations beating-beating, not gliding, nor the tips uplifted like vultures, but enormous and purposeful and all black.
I want to believe they are here — wilderness birds — tricksters — the fields and woods suddenly alight with another layer of awareness. Last week the dogs had watched three pass over them and had stopped running and looked up with me. On this cold, early morning, I bet no one else was walking within a mile or two of us. The sun was giving us that winter-sword light. Everything was sharpened.
I want to believe, especially now, with the barbarians at work in Alaska and Utah, that ravens have come to this place, a blessing none of us deserve, but a dispensation for those who go out, and a reason to place a bet on nature’s ability to surprise and endure.
Raven by Jamie Wyeth