When you have made a serious error and need to acknowledge it humbly, the best-known traditional expression to describe this in the United States is to “eat crow”. The origin seems fairly obvious: the meat of the crow is presumably rank and extremely distasteful, with the experience equating to the mental anguish of being forced to admit one’s fallibility.
Although most of us may strive for perfection, we sometimes fall short. It is wise to maintain a sense of humor. Humor is the experience of incongruity. In one’s environment the incongruity may be experienced when someone falls down in a situation where they are not expected to fall down. Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility. With distance, we can appreciate the humor and this is especially true in a crisis situation.
Given the challenging weather this Winter not only in the San Juan Islands but, throughout the Pacific Northwest, it would appear that Mother Nature has a sense of humor. But now, here in the islands, all things seem to be stirring. Branches that just days ago were bare, now fairly burst with blossoms and new growth. Daffodils appear out of nowhere — in fields, along roadsides, and really in the most unlikely places. Everything is a wonderful lush green, there is birdsong – a rainbow!
According to Native American legend, when the weather brought long periods of snow, wind, or rain, the animals became worried and sent a messenger to the Great Spirit to beg for a reprieve. The brightly colored Rainbow Crow offered to make the long journey and was rewarded with the gift of fire, which he carried in his beak. Forever after, with blackened feathers showing tiny rainbows of color, his urgent hoarse cry signals the end of Winter. The Native Americans refer to the March full moon as the Crow Moon for that reason.
This alone could inspire a whole new level of respect for the crow…