In The Company of Crows
An oil slick of feathered accompaniment, we flew over the meadows with the ease of the wind over flower petals. We were a cloud of flocking enthusiasm, the cawing of my hosts a constant grating on the ear. They chattered in their hundreds, but I knew not of what. The last of the sunlight faded behind an obliterating mountain massif, one I thought us to fly straight into. As usual, I was wrong. The crows surged over the granite in tidal magnificence. Warm updrafts filled their wings with energy, the birds used it pouring upwards, higher and higher, faster and faster. With such speed did they travel, I readied myself for the inevitable stomach in throat moment when we crested the monolithic rocks. It never happened. Instead, we continued as a black dart towards the clouds, towards a golden light that shone down upon us as a searchlight, a steady beam of brilliance. The crows, undeterred, flew straight into the light, used it as a pathway towards the stars. Through the clouds we burst like a dark arrow shot from Earth, our velocity increasing, the light intensifying. I covered my eyes, but without need; the light was gentle, not harsh. Only when star-shine twinkled off the crows glittering selves did I realise the truth, did I shed my first and only tear. In the company of crows I saw my fate. In the company of crows I learned that universal truth: when one was harvested, soul and all, the only question you asked was the only one you couldn’t have answered.