Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Follow Your Beak - Part 2

Nearly a year ago I wrote a blog entitled Follow Your Beak, which was all about our parrot, Paddy, and how he had so limited himself by his own perceptions.

Paddy seemed to have lost the ability of directional flight. He was perfectly capable of flight – he would fly all around the house if startled. But the concept of using his wings to get from one place to another eluded him completely. He was even reluctant to WALK to his chosen destination, preferring to sit and squawk until Mum or Dad came to pick him up and carry him.
But then, after eight years of being our big sook – Paddy flew the coop – quite literally.

He didn’t just fly out into the lounge room in search of Mum or Dad as he sometimes does when he is startled by a sudden noise. He didn’t just fly after one of us to land on our shoulders.  He flew right out of the (briefly) open door and off into the wild blue yonder.

Now the story has a happy ending so don’t fret. Once out there in the big, wide world, Paddy reverted to his usual behaviour. He simply sat and squawked for someone to come and get him. Admittedly it took us a long and heartbroken twenty-four hours to find him on his perch in a tree in the next street. But he was quite unharmed – just very hungry and thirsty and extremely glad to see us.

In last year’s blog I wrote, and I quote ‘It’s not enough to know what you want to do and where you want to go in your life. You need to take the necessary steps to get there. You are really only limited by your own confidence, and understanding of the principles involved.’

Paddy decided he wanted to explore the world beyond the confines of our house. He must have realized that, in order to do that, he needed to fly. He seemed to have developed the confidence to do just that – but he didn’t really understand the principles involved at all.

Paddy has never been outside before, except in his cage on visits to the vet etc. It might have felt wonderful soaring up there in the fresh air – no walls or windows, no obstacles to bar his way. But he would have soon gotten very tired. He’s not like the wild birds that fly about all day, every day. When he landed to rest, and forgive my license here in attributing some very human emotions to a bird, he must have thought –

 ‘Oops. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea after all.’

He didn’t know how to get home again. He wouldn’t recognize our house from the outside. He was used to his nice safe cage with his food and water and his toys. He had no understanding whatsoever of the big, wide wonderful world out there, with all the strange sounds and smells, and the dangers facing a little bird all on his own. It must have been very frightening for him.

There are times in life when we have to make decisions – big decisions that can affect the rest of our days. Sometimes it’s very exciting to act on impulse and launch ourselves on some great new adventure. But, just because we can do it, doesn’t mean it is a good thing to do.

So when opportunities present themselves, by all means, follow your beak and go after them. Just make sure you know what you’re doing first. 

Just make sure you understand the principles involved.

©Lyn Murphy 2012

1 comment:

Ray Colon said...

Hi Lyn,

The number of times when I've thought, "Oops. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all," are many. Each instance taught me something about the world and also something about myself.

Taking the plunge can be exhilarating, but finding our way back is often a challenge. Usually, I think, it's a challenge worth taking.