A murder of crows swooped loud and large into the back yard. Their boisterous cawing drowned out the traffic noise from the other side of the house. The littler song birds flew away — in fear or possibly annoyance. Whatever morning peace existed departed with the winged invasion.
The crows, and there were maybe twenty, landed heavily in the top branches of trees. They hopped and cawed, spread their expansive wings, and bobbed their heads while raising a ruckus. Usually I’d smile at their arrival; they made me think of the rowdy laughter from a gaggle of adolescent boys.
Of late it sounded like mockery. The dark feathered devils seemed to call me out on my regrets and mistakes. They reminded me with each caw what I cannot forget.
By our very nature, regrets surface when mortality lands heavy on the branches of our maturing life. I’ve matured to the age where having a few health issues is not a surprise, nor am I filled with fear by the implications. What disconcerts me is the awareness of regrets that still darken my soul. Mistakes I’ve made that wounded others, for which I have apologized, ask for or give forgiveness, and when needed, confessed before a priest. I assumed I had moved on from those mistakes, forgiving myself for what God had forgiven. Apparently not.
The gang of crows reflects their and my coarse behaviors. They evoked unwanted memories, and flew away — leaving me to my own questioning.
The black birds have gone for awhile. They will return — the brutes. And I will welcome them, sad and grateful. Saddened by the realization that I still have not fully forgiven myself and grateful for the knowledge of where the work of my soul still lies. I welcome those dark devils that lead me to turn toward God.
Have mercy on me, God…wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin…My offenses truly I know them;
my sin is always before me…you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom…purify me O God. (Psalms 51)
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