Birth of A Pea
There’s a recent story about an 8-year-old girl in Seattle who has befriended the neighborhood crows, and they bring her gifts.
Now, I tend to swoon over all sorts of positive inter-species communication (bonus ones at the end of the column), but I love this example of crows bringing gifts, for more reasons than that.
- First, it reminds us of the rewards of kindness, listening, observing and presence–which is what the little girl was doing with the crows (and presumably, they with her).
- Secondly, it reminds us that magic and wonder is all around if we are paying attention, and are willing to tend to it.
- The third reason I love this is because it can be a metaphor to what we tend to draw to ourselves and pay attention to. Many of us have inner critics whose voices are fairly loud inside of our heads. What if we cultivated an inner crow, velvety black, who instead of belittling us with messages that make us small, brings us gifts for being curious? And whom we feed daily for these gifts, thereby creating a sustainable cycle?
My own example of literally drawing something to myself happened in 2009, after a heart-breaking ending of a relationship. I was rebuilding my life and finding a new home, and it was the first tender months post-breakup, where I still hadn’t gotten my footing. I was doing all of the “healthy” healing things, talking, counseling, long walks on the beach, but I also wanted to do something that made me feel more joyous and stronger.
And so I turned to art, which is a life-force for me. I’ve painted and photographed and crafted a lot of things over the course of my life, but in this instance, it was the little doodles in the margins of every agenda or scrap piece of paper that started speaking to me, and in this soft nesting and rebuilding period of my life, I took them out of the margins and brought them front and center.
The doodles were simple and kind and funny and expressive, and mainly fruits and vegetables. I listened to them and they started saying things, lots of punny things, which was funny to me because I was not one who typically punned in my day-to-day life (you can check with my friends, I think they would confirm that. I was more of a factoid person than a punny person).
I would sit down for about 20 minutes or an hour each day; it was amazingly freeing and the doodles just flowed from me. The pea became a recurring character (probably because pea is so versatile as a pun, and also so very wise and sweet). I started putting them on Facebook, and thus Peadoodles was born.
Bright, Shiny Gifts
And then more magic happened. Every time I was stuck in line somewhere, puns and ideas would come. I started keeping a little notebook by my bed because they would come as I fell asleep and they would come in the middle of the night in my dreams and make me laugh, and I learned that if I didn’t write them down, no matter how much I said to myself, “Self, remember this!” I wouldn’t. And I also learned that that was okay and to lean into abundance and to know that other ideas would come.
Then more magic happened. People started playing along, and just like the crow, they would bring me bright, curious, shiny ideas. “Lisa!” they shouted across streets (Lori Lee Collins), “What about Colonel Mustard?” Or they would send me texts: “In a pickle” (Garrett Naiman). And on it builds and builds. I have both my inner imaginative velvety crow and whole posse of Peadoodle peaps who bring me fruitful (ahem) ideas and who encourage me along the way.
Here’s some Peadoodles inter-species communication for you to encourage you on your own journey of wonder.
Bonus: Inter-species communication, between a girl and a sea creature. (I think best without volume).