I was reminded well of the gifts of the lessons of nature yesterday as I watched a pair of ravens in my wild and much-loved garden in mid-Wales.
Ravens can be heard from time to time in this magical place of mountains and water, but even here they are seen rarely for they are private creatures of crags and emptiness which shun the presence of humans. One raven, a bird which is a symbol of mystery and transformation and also of the void, sat at the top of an old larch in my copse and another raven sat in another larch a little distance away. They were male and female, a pair, and soon the male flew to sit next to his mate, wings touching, before picking seeds and twigs from the branches nearby to give to her, beak to beak. This went on for some time: it was part of a courtship ritual and I believe they were preparing for nest-building in the new year (for ravens breed very early), being and doing instinctively but with much love.
I saw them by chance but was able to watch them for some time, noticing not just the affection and companionship between them – for ravens mate for life – but also their balance and freedom as they sat high up in the branches on a windy day, swaying with the air currents and using them to help them do what they wanted and needed to do, with humour and with personality.
The ravens who graced my garden with their presence reminded me of the importance of acceptance, of not resisting what is around me but working with it not against it, of flexibility and spontaneity, of enjoyment, of bringing love into everything I do, and of knowing that however high up I am or blown about, I am perfectly safe.
You may not be blessed with ravens to teach you their lessons where you live, but you have your own teachers from nature. Honour them by seeing them for what they are and giving thanks for their gifts of wisdom, as I have done to my new teachers, who call to each other through the winds still, today.