Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Crows Have It

My wife just got back from Haida Gwaii, the islands formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands before people who didn't live there realized that they already had a name.

She has not only talked about the incredible beauty of those islands, but also of the people. I could regale you with stories about her time there, and the people she met, and the things she did, made, bought, was given, or found. She went there, of course, for her work as a musician, but found the time to meet people and become friends.

One of the things she did was to crochet a number of little bracelets and pendants, and incorporate pebbles and shells she found there. Each of these found objects was further decorated with a bit of ink from her gel pens. She wasn't sure who to give them to, but knew that she wanted to present them as gifts to the friends there. She need not have worried. The opportunity presented itself.

It seemed that it wasn't the elders who were the most appropriate people to receive them. It was the children and youth. During one of the remarkable dinners the community provided, she found the opportunity to pass these gifts on to the youth, and I can tell you, they were really touched by this gesture.

But, of course, that's not what I want to talk about today. Nope. Sorry.

Instead, I want to share another story of hers. As they were leaving, waiting on the ferry for the boat to leave, I guess, there was a cute little peregrine falcon being attacked quite loudly by a crow half its size. This crow was screaming at it, chasing it all over the place. As they all watched, this falcon flew quickly past them with the crow right on its tail. They flew up. They flew down. They flew here and over there, and all over the place.

Finally, this falcon was able to get a bit of peace in the mesh of metal of a big crane, the industrial kind, not the bird type. And still, with the falcon safe in its haven, this crow still kept crying out at it, non-stop.

And there, watching, were all the members of the band. Many of them were saying, "Oh, that poor falcon." "That crow is so mean and vicious." They were all rooting for the falcon, hoping that the crow would leave it alone.

But as the ferry was pulling away, with the crow still yelling at the falcon, Marielle spoke up.

"You don't know", she said, "what happened. Maybe that falcon just ate the crows babies." This was supported by the fact that there were plenty of other crows in the area, none of whom were going against the falcon. And this got all the other band members to pause for a moment and think.

It got me to think, too.

How often do we see something like that in our daily life? What conclusions do we jump to? And are they justified?

It seems to me that this is, perhaps, one of the reasons why we are to get all the pertinent information before we begin consultation on a subject.

Thanks Marielle, for that story.

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