Moving Day Omen
It's believed by many that crows are a symbol of bad luck and death, but crows may be a symbol of life magic and mysteries. They also symbolize intelligence, flexibility and destiny.
We moved to our new home in '91 and the moving day didn't go as smoothly as we planned. My hubby was the manager of the co-op building we used to live in, and of course, this had to happen on our moving day. The water pipe broke on the 14th floor, as the movers loaded the truck, flooding the apartments below. My hubby couldn't make the over 100-mile drive with us, he had to stay to make it sure that everyone in the building was safe, the pipes fixed, and the water damage cleaned up. My young daughter and I had to drive behind the moving truck and supervise the moving of furniture and countless boxes into our new home.
The three hours drive went smoothly but one mile from our new home, one of my tires blew. I honked to the truck driver, he parked the truck and changed my tire.
Finally, we pulled into the driveway and the driver and two helpers started unloading the furniture and boxes as our friend, Marie, who lived close by, arrived to help.
"What a noisy bunch you got back there," Marie said as I picked up a box. I was so busy before but now I heard the squabbling crows in the back of the property. They made quite a ruckus and the driver of the moving truck, Pedro, seemed to be annoyed by the noise, and I detected a bit of fear in his eyes.
"Crows are a bad omen," he huffed as he was sliding the sofa from the truck toward his helpers.
Marie looked at me with worry in her eyes. "Yeah, I heard that too."
I remembered what my superstitious grandma told me about crows and said to them, "When crows live by and a single crow visits you, it's considered an omen of bad luck, indeed. But look!" I pointed to the clearing between the old cottages in the backyard where two crows now stood, quietly watching us. "There are two of them which means good luck. It's a good omen, don't worry."
"Really?" Marie asked, surprised. "Tell me more. Yesterday there were seven of them noisy birds in my backyard, and I shooed them away."
"Oh! You shouldn't have done that! According to grandma, seven crows showing up in your yard are the sign of travel or a major, positive change in your life."
"Snap!" Marie exclaimed. "Then I shouldn't have shooed them away! There goes my vacation plan." She laughed nervously, still eyeing the crows.
"What if there are three crows?" Pedro asked with worry in his voice. "My mother was born in Mexico and she always warns me about omens and signs."
"Well, my Hungarian grandmother had a rhyme or saying for just about anything, let me try to give you a rough translation of her little verse."
One crow alone and your life turns to muck.
Two announce the arrival of upcoming good luck.
Three brings news of happiness and good health.
Four crows will predict imminent wealth.
Five foretells of sickness for a period of time.
Six warns of disaster, theft or pinching of dime.
Seven suggests travel and positive changes in time.
Eight crows rarely appear but predict grief in one's life.
"Oh, my!" Pedro cried out. "I have to write this down and show it to my mother."
"Take it with a grain of salt." I laughed. "Grandma wasn't a supernatural expert, she just recited what she learned for her superstitious parents."
I made friends for life
We spent the day unpacking the kitchen boxes and bedding after the movers left. Once in a while I looked out the windows and saw the crows flying up a pine tree. Later I saw them standing on a tree stump in the back, flying up to the oak tree and back down to the grass again. it was quite clear that they were watching the house.
My daughter had enough excitement for the day and curled up on the couch to watch TV. I made coffee, and Marie and I sat by the back door trying to relax our aching muscles.
"They're still watching us," Marie observed.
"They seem to be a mated pair," I said as I stood up. "I have walnut in the cupboard, I'll give them a few pieces."
With two walnut halves in my hand, I slowly walked toward the back of the property, toward the tree stump which seemed to be the pair's favorite perching place. When I got closer, talking softly I extended my arm and showed them the walnuts in my palm. They flew off lazily and landed about fifty yards from the tree stump, watching my every move.
I placed the walnuts on the tree stump and walked back to the house. Thinking of the birds, Julius and Julia jumped into my mind and Marie thought they were good names for the pair.
Did I make a mental connection with the crows and they told me their names?
I will never know, but I always keep my mind open for possibilities. However, the past 28 years we've been living on the property, with the crows in the backyard, in harmony.
Next week I'll tell you stories about my friendship with Julia and her family.
I'm a writer. Am I telling you a true story or part of it is true and part of it is the figment of my imagination? You decide!
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Erika M Szabo
Author of urban fantasy, magical realism novels and children's books,
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