From the Witch’s Bedtable

British author Saci Lloyd and I walk through Epping Forest, an ancient royal hunting ground near her home in north London. She is wearing red trousers, a full-length coat, and a fur hat that looks like a cat curled in the sun on her head. “One day I was here and looked down,” she recalls, holding a bag of bread, “and I see the black wing of a crow in the grass.” Possibly a hundred cows surround us now. “There were crows all around me like this — and I heard loud caw caw caws — and so I moved a respectful distance away, and just watched. And I realized then that they were mourning and having a crow funeral. I watched one crow after another fly down and lament over that wing for half an hour.”

We toss the entourage of birds scraps of bread then set out on a meadow path towards a woodland. Sunlight splinters autumn clouds. “The crows are being sentinels now. But — ha ha! Look over there!” she says as a blue-winged covid darts from oak to oak. “This is a jay’s blue flash of magic. They are associated with Mercury, the messenger, because they go between two worlds. That’s what crows are, too. Messengers between two worlds.”

From Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World by Kathryn Aalto

Picture found here.

One response to “From the Witch’s Bedtable

  1. I have a monthly subscription ($10.69) for Kindle Unlimited – I discovered you can “check this book out” (10 books at a time) to read this book free if you have the subscription:

    Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World
    by Kathryn Aalto
    Format: Kindle Edition
    4.6 out of 5 stars 105 ratings
    Kindle
    $0.00 Read with Kindle Unlimited
    $9.99 to buy

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