Physical experience excavates language.
Never thought to what that word means – never could really understand what that words means until I had to keep fed a pack of starving ravens. At dawn, their call is deafening. I climb atop the ramada and they practically throw themselves at me to get their morning allotment of milk sodden bread and elk meat. Once they’re sated, I climb down. An hour later their calls are deafening.
This morning the parents fly over and call loudly when I begin feeding. I don’t know if the fledglings cry had changed to a distress call or if the parents simply saw me. They circle and call excitedly, but don’t appear defensive.
I’m sure they recognize that I’m feeding their young. Are they expressing curiousity? Or gratitude? Or perhaps summoning the fledgelings to flight?
Last night I took the dogs to the wash roost. What I took to be the health care parents and the wash parents were perched in the tree, looking north toward our house. I gave my customary raven cries. Both sets of parents circled and accompanied me nearly the entire walk back to the house.
I prefer their company to that of people. And in that way they’re feeding me, keeping my hunger at bay.