Jamie and I have been working closely lately on a project she is developing and she had to point out to me that I have been a bit abrasive. She brings ideas to the table and counts on me to help her find a way to make them a reality. I have been quick to shoot them down and it is deflating to her creativity. I’ve been kind of…begins with b…rhymes with itchy. I hate it that she had to point this out to me and that I wasn’t able to see it for myself.
It makes me wonder how I have been around the birds. I have always found them relaxing. Sure, they are a lot of work and sometimes loud, but I find it peaceful to have them nearby. They make me think about the unsophisticated elegance of nature and they remind me of how simple life is supposed to be. I seem to lose sight of that during this time of year.
The birds are so receptive to my emotions that I wonder how much of my stress I might have passed on to them. Unfortunately, Linus, my umbrella cockatoo, is not here this season because he is always my gauge. He’s like a mirror. I could always see my own mood reflected back at me through him. If I was impatient with him, he was impatient with me. He always told me when I needed to decompress.
This year I had to be told by Jamie. So I am letting go of the holiday stress. I am going to find a new appreciation for the things around me and let the birds and everyone else know how much they mean to me. Happy New Year to you all.
Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.