The crow is a dirty scavenger; loud and obnoxious, at least to most. For me the crow taps into something deep inside my consciousness and brings me peace. When I hear the crow call, especially in the morning… especially when it’s damp and cold, it brings back memories of a campground we used to visit when I was young, Crow Lake.
The campground was as wonderfully “booming 1980s” as you can imagine. There was a playground where the climbing structure was a pirate ship. There was a cage beside the washrooms where you could feed rabbits. They had a corner store complete with penny-candy, a chip truck and an arcade. They had a lovely little sand beach and a gazebo atop a nearby hill looking over the lake. They had tractor rides every day for the kids and a crow mascot who would ride at the front of the trailer waving to all the kids to come jump on. I have many great memories of that place.
The most clear memory I have is of our grassy field covered in morning dew. The air is crisp and cold. I sit wrapped in a blanket on a frigid folding chair left outside all night. It is cold and wet to the touch, like the grass. The sun is barely risen and peaking over the trees. Slowly its shapes of bright white and yellow heat descend onto the field. My father, smelling of stale beer and my mother’s second hand smoke, lights the Coleman stove and sets a pot of coffee to percolate before he begins to fry the bacon. It is in this scene that I hear the lucid call of a lone crow perched atop a tree cry out. It feels like it could be heard for miles but I can see the bird right before my eyes. The smells of naphtha, coffee, bacon, beer and cigarettes fill my nose.