In this land, a women sat alone in her small kitchen. The light was fading around her windows as the sun set. She looked up from her still table to see a small boy in the corner of the room, just inside the doorway. He was about four years old. He met her glance with large dark eyes. She knew he was an angel. She knew she had been his mother. Her heart swelled. She moved to him and he to her. As her finger tips touched his shoulder, she knew she could not be with him. It was not safe for him to be there. Sadly, the boy angel retreated from the house.
She was poured full of longing to be with her small boy. Her urge was to follow him, to know where he lived, to know he was safe. She would be followed. Other's already knew he had been there. They were already trying to follow him. As her heart burst, her spirit was released. Suddenly, she was outside her apartment. She could see the boy. He was magically dodging this way and that through the city alleys. With the spirit of her heart, she could follow him in her mind.
He left the edges of the city and entered a land of red rock and dark green conifers. This wilderness was hot and near the edge of a sea. She followed him past shallow bays, and around crimson cliffs of soft stone. The sun had not yet set. She saw him turn and enter the sea. She was able to follow him in her mind into the concealing waters. Down and down he went until he reached the wavy sands of the ocean floor. A small opening appeared and he smoothly entered. The opening closed behind him and was covered by sand as if it was never there. She knew that he had been greeted by a gathering of angels who waited for his safe return. There she could not follow. She backed her way out of the water, up to the hills, through the forest, and into her city. She had found the path to her angel.
She waited. She heard of the search for the small angel. She waited. Then it was time. She Gathered herself, she set out to retrace the steps of her minds journey. Yes this was the path out of the city. Yes, these hills were the ones. Yes, this was the path through the forest. Was that the lagoon? As she turned the corner, she saw earth moving equipment. She saw they had drained the shallow bay. But no, this was not the right place. They got it wrong! She moved along the coast hills. In the middle distance between herself and the water's edge, she saw the movement of an animal. It was a large golden mountain lion. Yes, this must be near the place. She, the lion was a sign of protection.
There was a rise of red rock between her and a view of the water. She climbed up. She started to see the forested edge along the water and knew this was the place. Up she climbed just to the top of the rock. Suddenly, two inches from her face loomed the quick eyes and hot breath of the she lion. Fear. She could not move. The lion took breath. Out of the corner of her eye the woman saw a man. A slender young man with very long dark hair. He was moving along the crest of rock coming toward her from the right. She was afraid to move her head to look directly at him. As he moved closer, she saw he was carrying something across his shoulders. It was a large black panther. The panther's tail was playfully curling up and down around the man's head.
Gradually, in moments frozen with fear, she knew that he was there to help her. That he was there to show her that she need not fear the lion. She began to breath. She looked at the cougar. The lion moved to the crest of the rock. As the man came next to her, the cougar curled around the woman's legs warming the skin with her golden pelt. The woman looked down at the back of the cougar. Her heart was captured by the luxurious glow of the softest fur right behind the cougars head. The nape of the lion's neck. She knew she must touch it. Fear rose. Desire rose. Slowly, desire overcame fear. She sunk her left hand into the golden soft bliss.
At that moment, all the women's needs were met. She no longer needed to see the Angel child. She was at peace.
Driving along the westward curve of a large lake, I saw to the East rising hills of golden grass. Balanced on the contours of the hill sides were large solitary oak trees. The leaves of these oak trees were lush cadmium red.
I insisted the car stop. I got out. Looking across the road I had been traveling on, I noticed a wooden shed just past the ditch on the other side. I walked up to the shed. I opened the door. In the dark interior, I found my easel, my box of oil paints, my bushes, and, my canvas.
I lugged my painting gear out of the shed. Briefly looking over the landscape I was about to paint, I picked out a majestic oak with the cadmium red leaves. I spotted a hill that would give me a vantage point from which to paint, and I began to climb the steep slope.
Three quarters of the way up the slope, I decided I had the perfect spot. I set up my easel. I placed my palette on a rock. I squeezed paint from metal tubes. Looking up to find the oak in view, my palette the perfect two feet from where I stood, and my easel in front of me just slightly to the left of center. I was now ready to paint this incredible oak tree with red leaves.
As I pushed my large round brush through cadmium red oil, I began to hear a distant noise. A flock of birds? Before I could raise my eyes to the distance beyond the oak tree, the raucous caw of crows became a cacophony. Instantly, this murder of crows, descended on my oak tree. Diving, squawking, ripping, wrestling, in moments every red leaf on that tree was on the ground.
I stood. Cadmium paint hung on the brush in my right hand. The white canvas stood virgin in front of me. I woke up. I painted A Murder of Crows.
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