Our voices can seem as small as we are in a big, noisy world, so easily overwhelmed, but the power of a chorus in unison can wash away the illusion that principles of injustice are set in stone. May this storm be the cleansing we’ve been waiting for, and may the rainbow that comes after be a dazzling flag of freedom for every single one of us.
created using Procreate on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil
(Image description: An illustration of a pair of crows perched on a beeswax bridge made from seven burning candles and twining with wild roses in bloom, which spill out of the oval frame. The crow on the right is leaning in to inspect the gleaming golden ring offered in the other crow’s beak. The frame is burgundy with the texture of heavy paper; the backdrop is a violet and blue starscape. In the foreground, heavy golden beeswax drips down from the candles, glowing with bright yellow flames with blue hearts. The wild roses are in muted earth tones of green and dusty rose pink with yellow centers; the crows are black with gleaming rainbow irridescence in their feathers highlighted by the candlelight.)
It’s well-known how much crows (and humans) like a good sparkly object, and I’m certainly no exception. In fact, as someone living in a Very Small House, I collect only the tiniest of treasures to delight and inspire me in my studio workspaces. They don’t have to be big to carry significance; we imbue the objects around us with personal meaning all the time, transforming our “nests” into mnemonic scrapbooks of our lives. When we gift things to those we care about, we’re gifting the meaning attached to them, as well - from rings and baubles to pictures, heirlooms, artifacts. Recipes. Stories. Pieces of our lives; pieces of ourselves, made into talismans of love and memory.
One of my favourite poems by Rumi contains the exchange:
I am so small, I can hardly be seen; how can this great love be inside me?
Look at your eyes; they are small, but they see enormous things.
Because Pride is such a celebration of love in all its forms, and because my own handfasting took place in June 8 years ago, these “Courting Crows” seemed like a fitting tribute this year - to my own beloved, and to all the lovers and kindred spirits looking out for one another and sharing their sparklies. (Did anyone else obsessively rewatch the Secret of NIMH as a child? I can’t help seeing the formative influences, myself.)
I chose crows for their curiosity and flock behaviour; they form strong social bonds and have been observed to have a culture that is transmitted through teaching, not only instinct, often over multiple generations. They take care of each other and develop communication networks to share news. Bees are another symbol of healthy community formed through clear communication and benevolent social cooperation, hard work that pays sweet dividends to be enjoyed together, survival elevated to thriving and making the world better for everyone around them in the process. Seven beeswax candles (a number associated with love and completion) bathe this scene in golden light, twined around by wild roses (also associated with love because of their colour and being one of the first flowers to bloom in spring profusion; and with abundance and fertility for their five-fold petals, a pattern found only in living things).