In my dream, I was walking the familiar wooded paths nearby on a crisp, bright, winter’s day. Yet, something was different.
Being the only one patiently walking these leave-covered trails winding through hardwood trees was nothing new. Not hearing any road noise from nearby highways, however, was new.
Soon I stopped to let my mind wander. I gazed out through the tall standing, hibernating trees, silently awaiting nature’s spring command to “leaf forward.” As I stood there in my thoughts, a large, black crow flew down and landed on a limb near me.
Crow: “Caw. Caw. What are you doing out here, human?”
Me: “I’m walking as I usually do on a beautiful winter morning. What are you doing out here? Hunting for food?”
The sleek, jet black feathered crow hesitated and picked at something in his feathery coat with his big, jet black beak.
Crow: “I flew down to see if my eyes were true: it IS a human walking.”
Me: “Why is that a surprise, crow?”
Crow: “Because there’s none of you left on Earth. Now it’s just nature and natural things, as intended.”
As those words sank in, I was not fearful, but surprised. It explained the absence of the usual noises, plus why I saw no one as I walked through my housing complex on the way to the woods.
Me: “I’m the only one left? How can this be? And how would you even know that?”Crow: “Caw! Caw! Caw! Because you humans finally did yourselves in for good. The pandemic, so poorly prepared for made even worse by letting people out of homes too soon. Then more got sick and died. Then you stayed inside, then you let more roam too soon. Death, stupidity, death, stupidity. It’s a cycle we nature citizens have watched from you humans for so many millennia. Caw!”
I pondered on the Crow’s wisdom and insight, not wanting to believe it was true. But I could not deny or defend humanity’s poor behavior throughout the centuries and our creative ways to self-destruct and ruin the Earth.
Me: “You may well be right, Crow, but I still have hope. Maybe I’m not the only one left. Maybe others are out there and we can start again, this time knowing how to do things better?”
Crow: “We’ve been watching and knowing it was only a matter of time. If not something like this virus, it would be humans killing humans in senseless, total annihilation war. We wondered which would come first, or if you’d finally destroy nature enough to make the Earth unsurvivable for your kind.
We nature beings are not sad it happened this way. This time, while you tried to protect humans by staying in for long periods, the Earth healed quickly. We thank you for that and leaving us with a clean world to thrive in.”
We both remained silent and unmoving. Soon, with a final, loud “caw” the crow extended wings and slowly ascended into the sky.
Then I woke up.