Reflections about Adversity and Resilience

Carol A. Hand

Four crows sitting atop the willow tree
chattering loudly while surveilling their domain
reminding an old eagle grandmother of four dark souls
determined to keep fledgling eagles from taking flight
to travel to heights where crows cannot breathe

There was a time when crows were new to her
when she listened and watched them in thoughtful silence
as they crowed loudly about how clever they were
strutting about confident in their superiority
showing off shiny things they gathered in their travels

Nevertheless she naively believed that they could be friends
not realizing then how different she was
until she discerned a disturbing pattern
watching them band together to keep fledglings grounded
reveling in the suffering they caused

She understood then that lone eagles have a different path
to attract the focus of crows’ attention elsewhere
to create a safer space for fledglings to practice flying
so they could develop the strength of their wings
and study the nature of wind and weather and gravity

Trying hard, though they did, the crows didn’t darken her vision
as she learned how to keep them at bay
without harming them even though they struck her
repeatedly with increasing ferocity
crowing in joy at their collective power to wound

Scores of fledglings launched before she needed rest
before she could take flight herself and rise
though she heard that the dark souls continue
taunting and grounding those they fear who can fly higher
and explore vistas beyond the limited realm of crows

She watched as the crows in the willow tree grew silent
and departed one by one to the four directions
their lone cries echoing in the distance

She gave silent thanks for her freedom
and for the inner strength the crows helped her find
realizing that it might not have happened otherwise


Golden Eagle in Flight – By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK, CC BY 2.0 (Wikipedia )


21 thoughts on “Reflections about Adversity and Resilience

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Carrie. It’s funny how an ordinary morning encounter can trigger new insights and reframe one’s not-necessarily-pleasant experiences, revealing strengths one didn’t notice at the time. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Bob. It’s always a gift to hear from you. Perhaps these stories would be better suited to a dark, stormy night. The crows were not pleasant companions, to be sure, or spirits who could appreciate the magic of the moon and stars. They were more like slinking slimy creatures of the nether world who gained such courage and strength only in groups when targeting those who were vulnerable and/or alone. But just maybe, beside the fire under the guidance of the stars the stories could be rewritten … 🙂


    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Paul. In some ways I agree. We do need each other. But sometimes we need to stand alone for what we believe in to protect others who cannot stand on their own yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A murder of crows… aptly named, but unsuccessful when pitted against a determined mother eagle. A timely reminder, Carol, and beautifully expressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good Morning Carol,
    “She gave silent thanks for her freedom
and for the inner strength the crows helped her find
realizing that it might not have happened otherwise”

    What a powerful statement.. humility defined. “Silent thanks”, I took this as a “prayer” in the purist sense. Praying for your enemy…..always a tough one.
    Peace to you my friend.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind and lovely comments, Ray, and for sharing such important insights. It was actually an amazing lesson about the processes that perpetuate conflict and the healing power of forgiveness. I needed to forgive myself first for my contributions to the conflict and live my own truth. Others didn’t change, but my ability to stay focused on kindness and constructive endeavors remained “unflappable.” 🙂


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