L. Cota Nupah Makah
day breaks slowly with the sky turning a gray pink until
the sun climbs into the sky over the trees. I am awake
early as usual and lay for a few minutes watching the
change of color in my bed room from gray light to pink
and then yellow as the day awakes.
This morning I am not wanting to leave my bed as the
house is so cold and I am not burning wood at night now.
I wait and listen and soon I hear my old friend the crow
calling me. The sweet cold morning air creeps in my
widow and fills the room with rich smells of damp earth
and green grass. These are the smells that the earth
gives when she is starting to settle and grow again. I
see it all here in my room as I have seen it all from my
eyes for many years now.
I can visualize that old crows shiny black feathers,
that look like soft satin in the sun light. The sun
bounces off of him and makes a rainbow of colors across
his wings as he flies. I know his favorite perch just
outside my bed room window, where he annoys me each day
at dawn with his loud voice.
I have watched the crows swoop down and eat from my yard
for many years now. Generation after generation come to
talk to me and share the morning gifts.
The crow calls several times and then waits for me to
answer or make an appearance with some bread or scraps
of last nights dinner.
after my daily ritual of awaking, "or rut", as I call
it, I manage to reach the kitchen door with a loaf of
hard bread in my hands. It takes me sometime to pull off
a dry chunk and throw it into the yard near the house.
The bread is like a rock that has been in the sun too
long; but still good for the crows to eat. I know that
by noon there will be not a crust of bread or scrap of
food left in the yard. Between the Crows and the
squirrels and smaller birds they will pick it clean. I
am sure this cold frosty morning the squirrels are still
sleeping with those busy tails all wrapped around them
for warmth. Small birds are snug in under the branches
of the pine trees waiting for the sun to come. I hear
the cooing of the morning dove peaceful in the distance
calling for rain. I coo back and wait to hear them
resume their song.
The cherry tree is in bloom and the maple and oak and
birch are budding out in new leaves. All is renewed and
all is at peace on this land here in Maine.
There is something for every one no need to rush but
just follow the order of the morning and let it flow.
The small birds will also eat the crumbs that the bigger
birds will leave so all will be consumed.
the tree top I see the Crow sitting and waiting he tips
his head from side to side watching me. Soon he will
give out the all clear signal and the come to dinner
welcome he does each morning.
After all the bread is torn and on the ground I send out
a short crow cry, or as best I can manage, too the crow
family that protects my home. The air is freezing and
the sun is not fully out to warm up the land. My feet
that are bare feel numb standing to long on the porch so
I step back into my kitchen to the warm air that now
circulates from the furnace heat. I will allow this to
heat up the house for a few minutes and then turn it off
for the day.
It does not take long for the birds to pass along the
message that there is food on the ground and that once
again they have been honored.
I return to my warm house and wait for the Crows to
descend and eat. One comes then others and they pick and
pull at the old dry bread for a while.
One Crow does a crow hop dance across the yard as he
looks for a tasty bite.
The old Crow, I take him for the leader, picks up one
piece of bread and weights is in his beak then drops it
back on the ground. He picks up yet another and does the
same with it too. Finally he take up one chunk of bread
and manages to pick up the other one and flies off with
He has some how managed to weight the amount he can fly
with, and in this process made a decision to take both
pieces with him.
I think on this and wonder that we humans cannot do the
same with our lives. I remind myself to only take up
that which I can carry safely and leave the rest of my
burden down for another day or another time.
Yet another lesson in crow medicine is given and I place
this in my memory to help me not over load my life with
worry and pain.
At this time of spirit food offerings I place my prayers
in the air to Creator and ask for peace, guidance, and
help in my own daily life. I give thanks for the
abundance, even if it is old stale bread. All things in
the hoop of creation going around and creating the
circle of life, are in this giving and taking of the
food. What I share from my hands to the animals, and
birds also comes back to me from Creator in the joy that
fills my heart from the giving.
How wonderful the coffee tastes this morning that I sip
on as I mix up a batch of real Maine blue berry pancakes
for breakfast. So simple this food yet from the land
here and soon will be covered in maple syrup from the
near by trees. The giving of the land and the peace that
fills my heart are truly sweet and good this morning.
My mind goes back to standing here in this kitchen for
hundreds of mornings mixing pancakes and making
breakfast for my husband and six children. The old
feelings come back and I can hear the children talking
and coming awake just like the day is awakening. Soon
the air is full of laughter and voices I smile and
finish my cooking. I offer the spirit food to the Crows
and watch as they swoop and dive to eat.
The crows laugh and eat out in the yard and I curl up on
my favorite nest in the couch and drink my morning
coffee as I have done for all these years. I am fully
aware of my own life and send out a prayer for all my
relations this morning.
Many blessings of the day Maka Nupa L
Copyright (c) 2010 by Maka Nupa L Cota
All publication rights reserved.