Oakland church

A Lesson from God’s Creatures

What do you cherish?

What would it take for you to recognize it?

My epiphany came in the form of large, iridescent glossy black birds, ravens to be precise.

Over a year ago, a pair of ravens started visiting our back deck to snatch tidbits of food left for the jays. I called them Tristan and Isolde. I watched them, fascinated by their behavior. If one came, it waited for the other to arrive before eating. They spoke to each other in their corvid dialect and it wasn’t hard to see they were having a conversation as a couple. They seemed to cherish each other deeply.

Now most of you know we’ve had a tough time with my spouse’s cancer. Sometimes between all the medical visits, chemotherapy appointments, challenges and stresses the little things – like cherishing each other – get lost.

One afternoon I was helping my spouse get washed up, chatting with him, when I looked out the window. Tristan and Isolde sat on the branches of the redwood tree, snuggled close, chortling and whispering strange vocalization as they carefully preened each other. And it hit me: I could learn a lot about marital bliss from these birds.

I made a conscious effort to hug my spouse, to be kind and patient, to care for him like the birds did for each other. It has helped me to understand that in these days, every moment together is golden. Cherish those you love. Tell them you love them.

Post Note:

This past week Tristan and Isolde surprised us: they guided two fully-fledged raven chicks to our deck to visit. A family to cherish… and we have a whole new set of examples to follow. 

By David G.

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