The blue eye of White Raven takes me in as I write. Thirty years have passed since I lived in my mobile home in the boreal forest of Southeast Alaska. It was there I met Raven both black and white and each gave me stories.
Shoop , shoop, shoop. Then, picking up speed as if to urge me out of bed, shoop-shoop-shoop-shoop-shoop, went the black leathery feet across the roof.
I was writing my doctoral dissertation, had small children and no money at all. Each day, I’d walk down to the stream, breathing in the cool, cedar infused mists. The stream banks had been devastated by plow, ax and heavy equipment in the name of building a bridge, but it did provide an opening for me through heavy underbrush normally impassible. I’d developed a practice of writing each day while the kids were in daycare and school, and then in the early afternoon, go down to the stream to pray and clear my mind. I was overwrought, fragile and stressed. Walking to the water, I stood looking across the steam where a huge raven, whose black iridescent blue, green and gold, strutted about. No problems for him.
‘Isn’t there a Raven who would help me?’ I implored aloud, with no intention of doing so, and dropped to my knees in grief. Instantly a sound like a tea towel being snapped clean, burst out from behind me. I jumped to my feet just as the Raven crossed the stream headed towards me. He stopped, suspended midair, fanning his wings towards my upturned face. I raised my arms in prayer, tears streaming down my face. Raven dropped to my chest level and began a slow circle around my body. A second Raven, who later, I realized had been standing behind me the whole time and whose wings being quickly opened had created the sound, joined the first raven. They circled me, only a foot or so from my body, so close I could have touched them, three times in total aerial cacophany. Upside down, sideways and right side up they flew. Then satisfied took off, one behind the other towards the inlet.
In utter wonderment I ambled down stream to the path home. Looking down at the water, in a shallow depression was a hand sized cloud of gold dust! The answer to my prayers. But then, looking at the devastation of the stream and land about me, and considering the implications of finding and by law reporting, a requirement for cashing it in, the source of my gold, I turned away, shaking with effort and walked back to the house with the best gold of all, integrity.