This week a couple of crows next to my house became, shall we say, overly loud. Thinking the crows must be agitated for a reason, I began searching the nearest tree for any young crows and sure enough there were three juveniles in the nearby tree. They were a good forty feet up, and as these juveniles hopped from one branch to the next they were quite tentative. From appearances I thought that perhaps these fledglings were about to take their first flights from this towering pine.

A few minutes of holding still and being patient paid off as the three young crows lined up on a windward facing branch. They fearfully looked across the two yards with their parents urging them on using sounds I’ve never heard crows make before. The first fledgling leaned forward and let go. Flapping admirably, yet still descending at a steep forty five degrees. The youngin’ fluttered straight ahead and soft crashed into a short tree in the first backyard. Both ‘parent’ crows immediately flew to the small tree and began coaxing the youngster as he began to bush hop ten feet at a time until off the property. Both parents then returned to a high spot opposite the big pine, and began encouraging the next fledgling.

The second fledgling then took off. Where the first had seemingly focused on the descent resigning itself to a ‘direct-hit’ landing site, the second crow suddenly began flapping very hard exactly where the first had relaxed its flapping. He rose up and up, across both yards, and then attempted to land by flying into the side of a telephone pole. He had mistaken it for a tree, yet he had gained plenty of height and fell softly into the hedge below. Both parents again were on the spot, in the hedge, getting number two to the top of the hedge for whatever was next. All this time soft ‘cawing’ conversations were happening between all five crows.

Young crow number three, after seeing all this, hemmed and cawed, procrastinated, and eventually hopped back through the tree to where the nest seemed to be. While the parents encouraged fledgling number three to no avail, they continued coaching their two new flyers. I finally retired for the night feeling privileged to have seen such an enlightening show. It was impressive to watch how this family learned, communicated, and made complex decisions based upon experiences from just moments before. Now I’m not saying I necessarily like the raucous that crows make, yet once in a while we can be guilty of selling Mother Nature a bit short.

Like these fledglings we make our choices with similar variety aligned with our own personalities. We are faced with choicesthroughout life and can stay where we are, or lean forward into change, let go of preconceptions, and let newness flow across us. There are occasional bumps and errant flights to be sure. Yet with the winds of change filling our wings, in a sense, each day we learn to fly.

Tony Pellicane

Hi, I’m Tony. I started with Verity in July of 2013, working with CUHMS in the Servicing Department as the Mortgage Servicing Supervisor. I spend much of my free time competing in flying disc sports, mostly freestyle Frisbee these days. I’ve traveled all over the world and most enjoy traveling to anyplace I’ve never been before (of course there are spectacular exceptions). I enjoy photography, art, dance, science, nature, and flying of any sort. Before moving to Seattle a year ago, I lived in San Diego; before that was Miami, with a stop in Gainesville, Florida on the way to San Diego. I became a huge Seahawk fan in 2009 after being a Dolphin fan from the glory days. I fell in love with the astoundingly beautiful country in the Northwest while visiting friends and practicing freestyle over the past few years and finally decided to move in 2010. Now having lived in three of the four corners of the US, I plan on retiring in Maine years from now. Hope you enjoy the writing.

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