Friday, February 16, 2007

Winter's End

The seasons change and after a fall there must be a winter. The fall, although beautiful, also heralds the death of that which was. The cold that must come surrounds that which was once full of life and either kills it, brings it to the brink of death, or forces it to find a way to survive. These seasons are necessary for the survival of life by facing death. It is simply the way it works.

I've been in a long winter, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. But I can see that winter's end is approaching. I can see it as surely as I see the words I'm writing on the screen. I can feel the "spring" of life returning little by little as I am reminded of it throughout the day with everyday events.

I recently purchased a Blue and Yellow Macaw from a lovely couple at the Exotic Bird Show in Orlando. Her name is Bella. Now... when I bought her, there were many things running through my mind. What I need to take care of her (responsibilities). Why I wanted her in my life (companionship), How it would affect my life as it is now (consequences). These are just to name a few. Some of them I gave more weight to than others. Regardless of the reasons... we got hitched. :)

Not long after she was at home with us in her new cage, much to everyone's chagrin... she began to squawk, scream and in general... not be very friendly. I took this very hard. I began to wonder what I had done. Had I been selfish? Had I not thought it through? Had I made a mistake? These thoughts weighed heavily on my mind but yet I wouldn't give up. I began searching across the internet for information about training and teaching. I bought a book to learn more about her and her species. I took, a very typical technical approach to the situation... and ignored what my heart was saying... which was, "she's a living being... a little freaked out... go show her some love."

Different resources have had different things to say on the matter. "She's calling out to her flock." "That's just what they do... you better get used to it." "She's looking for some attention and entertainment. Dance with her, play some music or something!" "She's just being a brat, you need to lay the law down and teach her you're the boss and that it's not acceptable!" With all this conflicting input, it's hard to know which approach is "the right approach."

So, I've tried to put myself in the bird's talons, so to speak. But to do that, I got to get to know her first because they're all different. Each of them has their own personality. This is something I've noticed from observing and interacting with Twink's birds. Some of them are sweet and nice and just want some love and affection. Some are playful and cute and act the fool. Some are little fighters that like to make sure you know they're the boss. So what's Bella's personality? So far... she's good at playing the wounded Diva bit. What a perfect match, eh? So it's going to take some time and patience and a fair bit of entertainment, I think. It's worth a try based on the behavior.

What does this have to do with Winter's End? I've been on the brink of despair about it. She's been, in my mind, another link in a chain of failures in my mind. But what I've been neglecting to see is that the source of it all is my attitude. Luckily, I'm not the kind to give up easily and I can see where many of my perceived failures have stemmed from me not taking the bull by the horns with confidence and a good, healthy attitude. The winter from my last fall... has been especially bleak. But the spring is almost here and I'll not let the winter knock me down or chase me away. It's days are numbered. :)


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