"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon..."
From the Prayer Of St. Francis
Blossom, a Greater Sulfur Crested Cockatoo...
Just this morning Blossom came here to stay. She is positively gorgeous, and was living with my friend Jeff who rescued her, and he has the most beautiful set-up for his birds and they get the greatest care, but he has a macaw and another cockatoo and Blossom was so nervous there, and finally was being attacked by Jeff's other cockatoo, that she started plucking her own feathers. This is a terrible thing with a cockatoo because they can pluck themselves naked even to mutilating their own bodies and it is nearly impossible to stop once it has started. She also really needs to be with someone. Jeff is the most loving person in the world but he works very long hours and he is gone a lot. We have talked and talked about bringing her here but he loved her so dearly and was trying everything under the sun to make it work, but he called this morning to say she was plucking worse and we both flew into action.
I tell people I have a "velcro pug." I now have a "velcro cockatoo." Today she even took a nap on my person, snuggled up to me with Sampson (The velco pug...) sleeping in the crook of my knees as per usual. I have a lot of work to do with her, and her screaming tonight nearly did me in, but she had finally calmed and is sleeping. She is in a new place in a new cage and you have to give an animal a chance. They are far more adaptable than we give them credit for, but they need the time to do so. Often people get rid of them before they have a chance. Blossom has had a hard life up until she went to Jeff's (You can see her in his aviary in a much earlier entry in this blog.), but the situation with the other birds was just too much. Before Jeff got her she was being kept in a small dog kennel and fed dog food! Bless her heart. Thankfully Jeff has had her on a supreme diet eating everything under the sun, a huge cage and then he built a beautiful aviary for his birds, but her little soul is so damaged, she just wasn't happy there. So yes, I have a lot of work ahead of me, but she is worth it, and this is one of my deepest journeys in life, to love the little ones.
I am a Franciscan at heart and in my life. I live with now 6 parrots, and 4 dogs, all rescues. They are my companions, my family, and I love them deeply. This is a soul connection that I have with my animals, and I am devoting my life to it.
Given the above when I saw the St. Francis Project I knew I was meant to be involved. Each week through February we are to write a blog entry and each week we take part of the prayer of St. Francis and incorporate it into an entry. Not only have I had The Prayer of St. Francis, along with many links to websites on him on the main Dragonfly Cottage site for some time, I think his prayer has meaning for everyone, and if we ever needed it, we need it now. And that I would find this wonderful work on the day that Blossom arrived seemed a little miracle.
What a beautiful girl...
When I read the first line of the prayer again it seemed perfect, for what this precious bird has been through, and to help guide me through the weeks ahead when she is settling in and needing, badly, someone to love her enough to go with her through the rocky times until she finds her peace her with us, in our little menagerie.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there has been hatred shown this beautiful bird, let me sow love,
where there has been so much injury, may those that hurt her be pardoned,
even while I give my heart to her, and make her part of my family.
This I pray. This love I promise. St. Francis is always seen surrounded by animals, but most often with birds. I pray he will guide me on this journey.
Blossom preening, showing that she is comfortable and at ease...
And so now we begin. And after 2 hours of screaming she has settled and is sleeping, but I cannot turn the t.v. on or talk on the phone. I called Jeff for a couple of tips and he helped me a lot but, having fallen asleep, when she heard me on the phone she started screaming again. This poor little soul.
And so I sit here writing in a room full of sleeping birds and dogs, and the room is quiet, and I don't need the t.v. or the phone, I just need peace and quiet and the relief that she has finally gone to sleep, probably exhausted and overwhelmed on her first day here, and I can read and write and do my fiber work. I can meditate and pray. And with soft pugs against my toes and under my chair and in bed and on couches, and all the other birds sleeping peacefully, I feel blessed, if tired, and I feel grateful to be given the opportunity to learn to open my heart in a whole new way.
Make me an instrument of your peace... let me sow love... Yes. Yes indeed. Yes I shall. And thank you for this gift St. Anthony. Be with me now...