I walked, pushing my son in the stroller, onto the cold street and saw a black shape on the uneven ground to my left. At first I thought it was a dark sweater, but as we approached I saw wings and feathers. The crow, dead on its back, had no head. I stared. Part of me wanted to get closer to examine the details in its greasy feathers, to see each tiny etch on its twig-like feet, but mostly I was appalled. I'd rather hold a spider.
When I lived in dorms my freshman year, one day we heard screams. A dorm mate had a spider in her room. A big one. The squealing girls were waving their arms and hopping around. I smirked. Nobody wanted to deal with it so I walked over, picked it up, and threw it out the window. I was proud of that.
But crows are different (especially dead ones) and being that I was on a Truth-seeking trip, I wondered what meaning I could glean from this ominous creature. I couldn't put words to anything.
We continued on. I was more alert than usual because I had the goal of loving the Truth out of anyone we came across. In my little world, that just means smiling and admiring people. By smiling, I mean the kind of smiles that start deep within and work their way out. Certainly, love is more than only smiling. Serving and empathizing come to mind. But I don't think we should underestimate the power of a genuine smile.
I was blessed by every person we encountered. Grace is everywhere.
Is there grace and truth in a dead headless crow? Hesitantly and ineffably, yes.