Today is Halloween. I must admit I don’t care anymore. My huge Halloween party was almost a week ago. Even though it went perfectly, I have to tell you that I’m ready for the holiday to pass. I think I spent too much time thinking about the party this year instead of reason for the holiday.
There is a large flock of crows at the park nearby my work. I am on my lunch hour, sitting in my car at the park and writing an early Halloween entry with a shiny and bitten No. 2 pencil. I am watching the black birds search the grass for food and listening to their calls. They remind me of a different black bird.
I’ve never seen a raven. I may have seen one on television or at an aviary, but I have never seen a raven in the wild. And like most of us, I’ve never had a raven come into my home and say, “Nevermore.” Every time I read that poem, I visualize a crow.
Maybe it’s because I’m a Western girl. I may have been born on the East Coast, but my body belongs to the mountains and the salty water of Utah. Something has agitated the flock of crows and they are all speaking at once. They almost sound like ducks when they argue. Maybe my teenaged mind couldn’t fathom a bird that didn’t frequent the valley of Salt Lake and replaced the raven with a crow. The call of one bird was exchanged with the call of another, neither one sounding like the word, “Nevermore.”
Those words can hold so much regret. Never more will I see her smiling face. Never more will I hear his tender voice. Never more will I laugh with them. To hell with regret. Winter is coming. If I brood with regret, I may never see spring.
From now on, those words will mean “Enough! Basta!” Just like the mob boss who stopped the killing, I will say the same to all that is evil in my life. Never more will I allow someone to be mean to me without comment. Never more will I stay quiet while another is unjustly maligned. Never more will I allow my wit or malice to cut another. “Nevermore”
The flock of crows have quieted and all I can hear is the call of one bird in the playground. One by one, I’ve watched the individuals of the group leave and fly off. They stopped by my park to remind me of why Halloween is scary. We can honor the dead with a “Nevermore” of determination or a “Nevermore” of regret. The choice is ours and I needed a reminder of which one would work for me.