When I was 15 years old my life profoundly changed. A pivotal moment happened that made me stop and evaluate who I was.
My neighbor and friend was taking a woodshop class in High School and one of his project choices was to craft a crossbow. This was in 1985 and surprisingly kids were allowed to build weapons as a school project back then, especially in the United States.
Once he completed the bow, we took it into a canyon area, where we used to go exploring, to target practice using cans and various junk scattered about. He handed it to me. I took it. Reluctantly. We’re only shooting cans after all. As we walked on into the canyon area, we peered into a smaller inset canyon off the main canyon we were in, and noticed high up on the side a huge crow sitting in an alcove. It cawed loudly at us. Go away, I’m sure it was yelling.
“Quick!!! Shoot it!!!”, was my friend yelling and taunting me. “You!!” I retorted. “You’re already holding the bow, chickenshit!!! Just do it!!”, he berated. This bird was easily 50-60 feet away at an angle, inside a cove. I had never even fired a weapon before so I know I’m not going to hit it. I raise the bow and quickly pull the trigger. Snnnaaappp!!! The arrow jetted out and disappeared. Nothing happened. After a few seconds, the bird flew out of the cove, and as we watched, it slowly descended and landed in an open field. I thought, no waaaay could I have hit it.
We ran over and inspected the bird to verify I had indeed hit it, a giant magnificent crow. It laid there helpless, halfheartedly flapping its wings in an attempt to escape. It realized it was mortally injured and surrendered, looking up at me with its head tilted to the side.
My friend said, “good shot,” and started to walk back home. I was struggling with feelings I had never felt before. I told him to go ahead, I’ll catch up later. I was choking back tears. There was a lump in my throat.
Next to the dying bird was a half-buried railroad tie. I just couldn’t leave that poor creature there to slowly suffer. I picked up one end of the huge slab of wood, stood it up onto the other end, said I’m sorry, and let it fall down onto the bird.
I felt sick. I wanted to fall down and vomit. I fought back tears from escaping. My God, what did I just do.
As I walked away from the scene, a long slow cry cawed out from underneath the wood. It released its last breath on Earth. The cry indelibly marked my soul. Stain.
I NEVER forgot that moment. Ever.
In 2009, my significant other and I, on a whim just to look, went to a store ( a direct breeder not a mill ) that had dogs for sale and we found a beautiful female Chihuahua, Lily, and took her home. She soon developed a severe cough so we took her back to the store and they agreed to take care of her back to health. As we were leaving, I noticed a little guy jumping frantically up and down in his cage, going nuts!! When I looked at him, I fell in love immediately. Another Chihuahua, gorgeous little guy. Nico. I took him home. He was mine right away and Lily was hers.
I loved this little dog so much from the beginning, it really was amazing how deeply I bonded with him. My 9 year relationship and engagement had ended, throwing me into a Dark Night and the ONLY thing keeping any semblance of a smile in my life was him. Not a single day went by when I didn’t smile at him no matter how utterly shitty I was feeling.
After a long Dark Night of the Soul, I finally picked myself up and began to dust myself off. Removed everything from my life not positive. Then suddenly and not kindly whatsoever, my Heart Center blasted open and sent me on the fast track to wherever I’m going. Awakening number 2 had begun. As the onion layers were peeling back and I was walking through the fire, I made sure I gave hugs and kisses to my boy, Nico, everyday. He helped me so much I can’t even begin to explain. He’s the reason my heart was able to open. Without having that little face looking at me everyday I would have permanently shut down and not made it.
One day I was looking closely at his face. I was looking at a little black spot he has on his chest and suddenly an intuitive third-eye flash superimposed an image of that bird over Nico. The spot on his chest, and large one on his back, matched exactly where I shot the arrow through the crow. In an instant I knew. I knew he was that bird.
I cried like never before. Tears and tears. He came back into my life to help me awaken by keeping my heart open, and also by helping me purge the guilt and shame I was holding onto all those years.
That little guy was brought into my life to save me.
He did exactly that.
Well done Nico.
Thank you. I love you forever buddy.