PARROT IN A PEAR TREE……
I was having my last cup of coffee yesterday when I heard the different song of a bird carrying into my home. Walking outside, I quickly spied this out of place bantam parrot giving life to an otherwise dead pear tree.
He let me approach within 4-5 feet and with mild interest listened to my pleas and weak attempts to speak to him, to whisper him to my outstretched finger. He chatted back, but I was as lost at understanding as he was. One time he flew towards me and came within a foot of landing on my hand. After 45 minutes of a mostly one-sided conversation, he grew tired of my chit chat and flew to a neighbors tall pine.
My wife sharply remembered hearing his song a passing on our morning walk. We went to where she thought he lived. Responding to our knocking a young father came to our answer and surprisingly confirmed that during the night their dog had attacked the bird’s covered cage and the pet had flown the coup.
I was a bit miffed at his indifference in wanting to recover the bird. The bird had been a pet for 3 years yet had not been given a name nor ever once had physical contact with the humans. The man reluctantly came with me to see his “pet” unreachably high in a tree. He shrugged his shoulders and deadpanned “ I don’t know how I would ever catch him” and returned home.
The bird came back to our yard several times and filled the air with his song and beauty. I kept trying to talk him down, but he would feign interest and fly away. I worried about him and hoped to find where he might roost and try a night capture, but he never returned as the sun set.
I could not shake the question of why had our flight paths crossed? In my am prayers I realized that he had shown me that while we long for and can escape the cage that holds us prisoner, we most often do little with our freedom.
Just as Red from Shawshank Redemption so honed his advise to Andy: “These walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them.”
This creature had escaped, but had no where to go. “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”