feather, water

Lifting Up

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The Rocky Mountains inspire everyone to look up - every day, here.
The Rocky Mountains inspire everyone to look up – every day, here.

I once read a fantasy series by Gayle Greeno about cats who communed with their ancestors by elevating their thoughts in a meditative spiral. At the time, I thought it was a bit weird and wondered why a spiral. Now, I totally understand, and often see a spiral of progress in my own life. It represents the concept that we encounter the same lesson or challenge in our lifetime several times. As we mature and grow in our awareness, we hopefully have a higher perspective, have worked learned what the situation has to offer, and can handle it better. Each upward spiral takes us past the same issues until we have mastered all its lessons. By a few encounters with an issue, we’ve conquered it and sail through with flying colors.

Raven, Yellowstone City, Idaho
Raven, Yellowstone City, Idaho

As a child, we may hit a specific lesson and not handle it well at all. Let’s say we experience rejection and we have a full-out emotional response with a temper tantrum, crying, screaming — the whole bit. When we’re older and someone rejects us, we have more experience and confidence; we handle it better. As an adult, we handle it better still. When we’ve mastered our reaction, we see rejection for what it is – a problem the other person is experiencing, or an incompatibility of two divine souls – rather than a defect in ourselves. As we mature in our self-awareness, we handle it differently.

I thought of this today, as I noticed my vision moving higher in all ways. Perhaps I’ve hit a new layer of the spiral. I’ve always been low to the ground and pretty grounded. I had little use for things in the air. I wasn’t interested in birds. I thought they

Nesting birds, near Gold Beach, Oregon
Nesting birds, near Gold Beach, Oregon

were unintelligent, noisy mess-makers,

Cockatoo, Sugar, feeling feisty
Cockatoo, Sugar, feeling feisty

if they registered at all. Then I started dreaming about parrots and felt that one was calling me. Soon thereafter, we adopted our first rescue parrots. We were then asked to take in two more parrots by our veterinarian, who was trying to keep birds in need out of the rescue organizations. They are generally one-person birds, and I wasn’t anyone’s first choice. That was pretty odd, because I’m the one that all the dogs and cats gravitate to. A couple of years later, and I’m the go-to person for all three birds. I take care of them, and they respond to me.

The alpha bird in our small flock has taken me on as his person, teaching me how affectionate they can be. He’s at least 35 years old and loves to cuddle. He likes me to pet and preen him when he’s mellow. When he’s feeling spunky, he likes to somersault down my chest or bob to oldies rock-n-roll.

Now, I notice birds everywhere, and wherever I go, I seem to be visited by hawks and eagles. Thanks to living on a major migration route,Birds n sillouette CW I’ve also enjoyed watching the many egrets, herons, pelicans, geese, cranes, and ducks that fly our way. My eyes are constantly up. I admit, I’m too nearsighted to be very interested in the small songbirds, and there aren’t many in my suburban neighborhood. It’s the large birds that call to me. So do the clouds, the stars, and the sky. My feet are still on the ground, but my spirit is lifting me up and my eyes follow. And somehow, there’s happiness in the air. I feel really good.

I think back to the year when my twins were two, I was a single mother of three, and life was a struggle. I gave all I had to the children, the job, and the vacuum cleaner; there was little energy to nurture myself. I woke every morning and cried, wondering when it would get easier. Thank goodness, those days are a distant memory, because it did get easier. I changed, grew up, and found my place in the world. Now, every day is a good day, even when “bad” things happen. I can handle it, and I’m not afraid any more. How life changes! I’m no longer watching my feet plod along. I’m soaring with the birds.

Floating feather CW.


  1. I seem to be partial to crows and hawks and cringe when I hear people talking about how ugly and loud crows are. I know they can be loud but I enjoy the sound of the caws. I have a sign that hangs in my house. It says “Crow Haven” and has pictures of crows on it. This was an interesting read. I also enjoyed what you wrote about spirals. Your explanation opened my mind and broadened my horizons. Thank you.


    1. Thank you for participating in the conversation. I like crows too. A recent Audubon article praised their intelligence and brains over brawn. They are crazy smart !


  2. Your writing is so strong these days. It flows easily which always makes good reading. I still see you in the high chair with a pencil in your
    hands “writing” stories and telling me what you were writing while your sister did art pictures. I had no idea that that after nap quiet time would influence your life for the rest of your life! One of the things I did right!



    1. Yes, your support was a big help. There’s probably nothing you could have done to stop me from writing, but the encouragement was a great boost. Thanks!


    1. Sorry you’ve been traumatized – birds are more likely to bite than dogs or cats. I’ve been bitten a number of times. I curse (which amuses them), wipe off the blood, and keep going. That’s the difference between being bitten as a child, and as an adult – it’s irritating but not traumatizing. Birds aren’t for everyone… I’m top bird because I keep loving them, no matter what they’ve done (or haven’t done) and treat them with respect. Every animal likes to be treated as an equal, no matter their size, shape or species.


      1. I agree with you ~ the respect goes for every living thing I think! 🙂 I saw the movie the birds as a child, then there was a tamed crow who lived in my neighborhood who for some unknown reason adored me and constantly wanted to land on me, walk near me etc. It absolutely terrified me and since then, I am not a bird person at all. But after reading your story, ,perhaps there’s hope for me.♥


        1. When The Birds played on TV a few months ago, we wouldn’t let our birds watch it. We thought they’d be traumatized! How sad that you didn’t reciprocate the crow ‘s feelings. I understand, though, given your story. They can be scary (even w/o the movie) when they land on us. And they have an oddly foreign feel. Not like mammals.


          1. Very true ~ the crow scared me ~ flying out of nowhere and trying to be with me, but I took it as attacking. I’ve had other situations (a hawk and the little bird he was chasing flew into my car and wouldn’t leave ~ perhaps I need an intervention!) I like mammals better, but I would like to find a way to make peace with the aviators as well.


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Julie. I know you’ve got a lot going on and have trimmed your blog list considerably. I am pleased that you have continued to follow me. BTW – have you thought about using Gutsy’s picture for your Gravatar? It might be suitable, since you’re pretty gutsy too!


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