Red Wing Blackbird Day

This year, February 19 was Red Wing Blackbird Day. Three weeks earlier than the last two years. Red Wing Blackbird Day is a holiday that my family invented and we hold it very dear. This year it started with Rhiannon hearing the trill. “Did you hear that?” she asked as she leapt across the living room.
“Hear what? “
“The blackbird!”
  Now we all jump to our feet, running to every window, opening every door, the cold rushing in. We all scan the phone lines, the prairie, the trees. Again, Rhiannon: “There, on the tallest tree in willow grove!” Sure enough, there was the red wing blackbird scout, wind whipping his feathers so we get a peek at his red, looking for the best nesting area in the field, deciding if it’s warm enough for his wives. 

YYYAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!! 

  We are all cheering. We run and get cloaks, wings and birdseed. We run around and around the house, throwing seeds, yelling wishes, welcoming, begging him to stay!  Then we make a feast, using whatever we can find in the house, and place our toy red wing blackbird on the altar. The Beatles song “Blackbird” plays in the background:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

 
 
 
 
 
  I am a lover of summer. The arrival of the red wing blackbirds is a physical sign of its approach. Soon I will fall to my knees before the first crocus. (Tabitha just wrote that she burst into to tears this week at her first glimpse of purple and yellow blooms in Missouri). 
  There are now about 100 red wing blackbirds in my prairie. They are coming. In droves. They took on a red tail hawk and won. The red wing blackbirds will be my alarm clock, they will attack my dog, they will terrorize country bikers and walkers, they will shit on my tipi, eat my bees and scare my children. And in August they will rise in tornado like clouds, black birds by the thousands, when I open my front door. And I will build them altars. And I will beg them to stay.

Author: thewitchmama

Melanie Elizabeth Hexen is a midwife, regionally famous bellydancer, homeschooling mother and matriarch of the Many Hands House. She has been a witch for 25 years, and her belief system is currently based on the writings of Terry Pratchett and the teachings of Steven Posch. With her coven, the Prärie Hexen, she is creating the Hexen Tradition of Witchcraft.

6 thoughts on “Red Wing Blackbird Day”

  1. Me too! Last year our Blackbird day was March 7th, on my 40th birthday. I was wakened by them, and there was a huge flock of them singing in our pear tree. It was a very good omen indeed.

    I thought I heard one today, but I couldn't spot it. soon, though. I can feel it.

    Like

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