On a rare November day, when the temperature was hovering at 70 degrees, I decided to take Shakespeare for a walk around the local pond. Shakespeare is my parrot friend of thirty years. He’s been my walking companion for the better part of three decades now. I do the walking, and Shakespeare does the talking. Shaky rides on my left shoulder, constantly whispering “sweet nothings” in my ear, as we pass by things worth noting (like a beautiful swan on the pond or the rare albino squirrel that lives in the giant oak tree).
On this particular day, just a week or so ago, nature decided to test us. She hit us with an onslaught of high gale winds reaching sixty miles an hour. These winds came out of nowhere, without warning. They were not predicted in any weather forecasts. The wind blew Shakespeare off my shoulder, and before he could get his bearing, he was tumbling on the grass like tumbleweed toward the road where cars were whizzing by. As he desperately tried to balance himself and get back to me by flapping his wings, another gust of wind would catch his wings and flip him over, once again, pushing him closer and closer to the road.
I felt a sense of panic overcome me as I saw my friend desperately, but unsuccessfully trying to correct the problem. In that moment, rather than run toward him anxiously, I stopped and calmly spoke (with a loud enough voice that he could hear me), “Shakespeare, be calm. Stay, Shakespeare. Stay right where you are. Relax.”
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Shakespeare stopped flapping his wings, which gave sail for the winds to blow against. He folded his wings tight to his body, and then relaxed his legs and hunkered deep into the grass as he folded his head down into his belly. I calmly walked up to him and picked him up with two hands. It was like picking up a furry Nerf ball. As I picked him up, I said, “Good boy. You are a good boy, Shakespeare, trusting me completely. And then, I placed him in my jacket under my arm, where he’d be safe from the wind.
This is a very unnatural thing for a bird to do; to simply fold himself inward and lay in the grass, and then allow himself to be picked up by his body and wrapped in a coat. His instinct tells him to perch on my finger (never be picked up like a furry kitten), and the last thing a bird wants you to do is hamper his ability to fly by placing him in confined quarters (Like inside a coat).
I immediately walked him safely home while constantly reassuring him that he was a good boy. We then sat in the kitchen and we talked about this experience (he had plenty to say about it). Later that day, I decided to sit and ponder the lessons that I learned from that experience. Over the next five blog-days, I am going to share five lessons that this experience helped me to more thoroughly understand.
Lesson Five – Celebrate Your Victories: It is always wise to celebrate one’s victories. When we were safe and sound at home, Shakespeare and I talked about what happened; I spoke in a joyous voice and he sang out gloriously. I spoke of how proud I was of him, and he sang out, “I’m a good bird.” We repeated this a dozen times, and each time it felt better. With celebration comes reinforcement of the “power of trust in oneself, in life.”
The gift of being able to conceive an outcome, and bring that outcome to spectacular conception – that is the divine gift of the infinite that keeps on giving. Believe in yourself. Have faith in your abilities. And soon you’ll find that whatever seems possible is always possible.
- Be sure to check out my latest feature in the Huffington Post: Wisdom From The Wind – Five Gael Force Lessons.
- Rob White’s Tips For Greater Happiness – Illustrated.
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