I watched him from across the street. He was a solitary figure, walking slowly, looking very much in thought as though the day ahead was something to worry about. He had about him a small bag of potato chips; something to occupy his hands, I suppose, as he made his way up the hill. He seemed not to notice me as I crossed the street toward him.
I nodded hello and he acknowledged with a smile. I wasn’t quite passed him when he dropped a large round chip on the sidewalk. He seemed embarrassed, a shy grin told me so but we continued on in opposite directions. When I heard the crow sound the alarm I turned around; and there stood the old man holding the chip high above his head imploring the crow to take his offering.
The crow was wary. He would swoop from tree to fence and from fence to tree with his eye on the old man and the chip all the while. Sometimes he would land on the sidewalk and dance close to the man but would not take the chip. Eventually, the man laid the chip carefully, almost reverently, on the top of a large trash can sitting by the curb and then ducked behind the fence to watch.
Caw! the crow was excited to see that chip without the man! Caw! he called and another crow joined him. The two took turns pecking at the proffered morsel. They were polite and humble, grateful for the gift, and the old man watched with such delight, I could not help but smile myself.
There is something very magical about witnessing the interplay between man and nature even if it nothing more than an old man and a crow or two. The sentience of each was a reminder of all that is dear to this planet and all that is worthy of our protection. Goodness comes in many ways, large and small, but its effect is the same: It makes us smile to remember it and gives us resolve to keep it going.
Hurt not the Earth, nor the seas, nor the trees… Revelations 7:3