A Bird’s-Eye View

After sitting out on a big rock early this calm sunny morning, soaking in the many beauties of nature and hearing the many sounds of an early dawn, my attention turns to loud crows on top of this large tree. First there was one bird, then another crow flies into the treetop. It was like changing shifts; one crow would fly down into the cornfield and another crow would fly up back to the tree. Soon there were at least 7–8 crows in one household, so it seemed they were taking turns flying down in their “other space” among the rows of corn. Was there another nest? Was that their food source? Were they taking turns babysitting? They seemed like a big extended family sharing their treetop home and their other “home” in the field.

If our home at Saint Scholastica Convent1 had a retractable roof that could be opened up on a sunny day and these crows could look down on us, what would they hear or see and what would be some of their comments? Let’s look in and listen.

“Look at all those many moving creatures, some are going in and some are going out, some are going up or down, some go slower than others, a few seem to be going in circles. Sometimes they are noisy, and sometimes quiet, most seem to be very busy … Who are they and what are they doing? Instead of going into a cornfield like we do, these have one large place where they sit in small groups and share food. There is a separate place where they sleep, and work going on everywhere. Shortly after sunrise, they gather in another big room where they sit in a semicircle around one big granite table in the front. Here they sometimes sit, sometimes stand and sometimes sing and chant; their singing sure is prettier than our crowing. At one point, they all walk up in pairs to this special table where they hold out their hand and are given something like food which they put in their mouth to eat. Wow, this is beautiful to watch. Why do I feel so special and so connected? Do they have the same Creator as we do who cares for us and feeds us? Thank you for helping us praise our Creator with your beautiful sounds.”

Margaret Mandernach, OSB

1Sister Margaret wrote this blog while living at Saint Scholastica Convent.