The last week was a very difficult one for me… It had a happy ending, but the outcome was anything but assured. As with any event or incident in my life, I take the time to delve into the experience to see what I might be able to learn or gain from it. Not when in the throes of emotion necessarily, but afterwards is a perfect time for reflection and insight. This is the (rather long) story of the return of Malakai – our much-loved Eclectus Parrot family member.
Kai was an early birthday present in February for me, from my darling husband Dan. I had suffered some losses in my life and was feeling bereft and a little lost and lonely. He knew how much I loved birds and wanted to give me a pet that I could love and nurture, who would be here with me during my days of working at home alone. I love working from home and really enjoy the space to work the way I choose to – but it can be a little lonely at times.
Kai came into our lives when he was nine weeks old and it was immediately obvious he was meant to be a part of the family. For people who may not understand birds – it can be quite surprising how easy it is to get deeply attached to them. They have huge personalities, are very intelligent, cheeky, and incredibly loving and affectionate. It can be like having a toddler in the house! I debated whether to get Kai’s wings clipped or not and in the end I decided against it. One of those reasons, I now understand, was the fear of judgement of others – not a good reason to do, or not do, anything! I come from a background of endorsing a humane approach to animals, being vegetarian or vegan for long periods of time, and in the past being very active in animal rights and animal welfare. There was a little voice in my head saying things like “birds are meant to fly and be free, not kept as pets”. So wanting to give Kai the best experience of being ‘a bird’ as possible, I left his wings free so he could fly around the house and also in the big aviary he spends time in during the day. We were all vigilant about doors being closed when he was out- except I made one small mistake last week, and Kai flew out the door and away.
The day before he escaped was a really good day. As those of you who know me and may have been following my blog for a while – this year is about slowing down. Regaining my health, soothing my nervous system and learning to create balance in my life. Last Tuesday was the first day that I could really feel myself settling into a new pace of life. It felt like something big had shifted and this was a new era and a new way of being. I started my routine of walking early every morning to watch the sun rise – and this is what I posted on Facebook that first morning:
“In my quest this year to slow down a little and build back into my life some of the more simple pleasures that I’ve been missing out on for some time – I’ve started walking of a morning again… For most of my life I have been a morning person, when I was younger it was exercising the horses before school or work, and later on, I always worked-out first thing, loving getting up while the world was still quiet. Over the past couple of years I’ve let that habit slide – suffering with a relapse of fatigue – with the early mornings being my best time for sleep. But this year, as I make the changes I need to make to build my health back, I’ve realised how much I’ve missed those still hours of the day. With my sleep back into a normal healthy pattern, the mornings are calling me again… To watch the sun rise each day is something beautiful to behold. It heralds a fresh start, a reminder to let go of whatever happened yesterday, and to appreciate the unfolding of a new day filled with endless possibilities… This is my new mantra, my meditation, my recharging and time of renewal each and every day.”
Everything felt in flow, my work was easily managed, I was looking forward to writing the last few chapters of my book and I had a feeling of peace creep in, that I hadn’t felt for a long, long time. Instead of being ‘hypervigilant’ and my nervous system being on high alert all the time, I felt relaxed. Alongside my walks, I had checked out the local yoga studios and had pencilled in the times I was going to start classes. To have this space in my life felt amazing. I could feel that this was what I’ve been needing, and that this time of space and peace, was going to heal me on all levels.
The next morning I went for my walk again and had another amazing time, so clear, so peaceful… And then I left the front door open and Kai flew away. My peace shattered.
I was frantic. Crying, inconsolable, going out of my mind with stress and anxiety – I couldn’t find him – I ran up and down the streets calling his name. One lady said she saw him flying low with a flock of lorikeets chasing him, so I ran in that direction, sobbing my heart out, not believing that I’d left the door open and my precious boy had gone. After half an hour of erratic searching and calling he was nowhere to be found. So home I came and went into action. I didn’t know what else to do. I quickly put up a post on Facebook about Malakai and then I designed a Lost! flyer on my computer and tried to print hundreds out – but the printer wouldn’t communicate with the computer and I couldn’t print. It was like the end of the world.. Thank goodness for Rhi, who saw my Facebook post and came over to my house immediately to help me do what I could to find Kai. She was amazing and such a help in my grief-stricken, irrational state. She got the printer going again, and we printed out flyers and posters and set out around the neighbourhood – putting flyers in letterboxes, posters on telegraph poles, talking to people, calling him, and doing whatever possible to find my bird. But there was no sign of him.
I was very, very emotional. Tied up in the loss of Kai was guilt and shame for leaving the door open. I was the carer for this bird and I had not fulfilled my duty in keeping him safe. Dan had put a lot of time, effort, and research into finding me the most amazing companion – and I felt like I had let him down. He was a gift from Dan and that meant the world to me. I was also distraught that my little buddy could be dead from my actions – maybe flying over one of the canals and not being strong enough to fly all the way and falling in the water and drowning; or being attacked by other birds, a dog, cat or a snake. Or someone would find him and think he would make a lovely pet and just keep him. I was worried that he was lost, confused, stressed and alone after living a pampered existence in our home. Alongside that was my internal disappointment that I had lost the peace in my life. That I had just reached that point of space and balance, and I’d wrecked it in a day. Was this some type of self-sabotage? If I wasn’t on ‘high alert’ all the time, then would I ‘lose control’ of my life and make bad things happen? These were the themes running through my mind as I questioned everything I was feeling about this situation.
Over the next six days I swung from despair to hope many times a day. As well as putting hundreds of flyers in letterboxes, I registered Kai as being lost on many different websites, – www.parrotalert.com being one of them. They designed an awesome poster very quickly, (much better than my amateur efforts) that I used to hang on telegraph poles around the area. He was logged as being lost at the Animal Rescue, RSPCA, every Vet in the local area, Avian hospitals, animal emergency places, there were announcements on the radio, ads in the newspaper, posters on poles and in shops everywhere. Every morning before sunrise I would walk the streets, calling his name, hoping he would recognise my voice and respond – checking every likely looking tree and shrub. Then I would go out again at lunch time and do the same, and again of an evening. Sometimes up to eight hours a day of searching, in-between phone calls, checking web sites etc. I had gone from having this lovely feeling of space in my life, to having only one frantic thing on my mind – finding my lost boy.
One of the things that I did right from the start was to visualise Kai being safe and us being reunited. I held that thought, I visioned it, I projected it and held fast to a couple of ideas. That he was a big bird who would stand out in our area as being unusual, and that he was very tame and friendly and would gravitate towards a human. I hold the belief that most people are good people, and I visualised that if he was found, he would be handed in and I would get him back.
On Saturday, when Kai had been missing for three full days, I had an appointment with my chiropractor / kinesiologist, Bronwyn Lakay. During the session she asked me if I had asked for a sign that Kai was OK and coming home. Even though I have had the most incredible synchronicities and unexplainable events happen in my life, I am still hesitant to ‘ask for a sign’. But I do know that there is more to our universe than can be explained by the tools we have at our disposal right now, and that energy and vibration do have amazing power. So I did it. I meditated and asked to see a green feather as a reasurrance for me that Kai was safe and coming home – and that it wouldn’t just be one of his feathers floating around the house – but a sign that I would recognise . All that day I searched again, taking my bike out for hours, leaving no tree or bush unturned in my vigilance to search the area well for my little buddy. I kept an eye out for my sign – that green feather – but by dark, there was no sign at all. Dan and I had a birthday party dinner to attend that night and as I was getting ready, I was distraught – what had happened to Kai? Where was he? Was he hurt? Because I hadn’t seen a green feather that day did it mean he was dead? I was in a highly emotional state, but knew I had to just get on and get ready to go out. As I got dressed I had a thought about what jewellery to wear with my dress, and thought I would wear something different from normal. So I got out a jewellery box from the top of my cupboard that I go to quite rarely, and as I opened it up, a green feather earring that I bought in Bali fluttered to the floor at my feet… I was stunned. There was my sign, that came in a way I hadn’t envisioned.
As the emotions started to settle a little, I was able to start more positive visulisation. I tried to connect telepathically with Kai, to reassure him that he would find his way home and we would be waiting for him, loving him. I had a strong feeling that he was scared and hiding, so I started to talk to him in my mind, telling him that he would have to be brave and come out of hiding and find a kind person who would hand him in. I sent this little bird all my love and strength and pictured him coming out of hiding and allowing himself to be found.
And that is what happened. Although I don’t know the details of it, on Monday (the day before my birthday!) he was found and handed in to the Animal Welfare League. When I did my end of day call-around, they said they had an Eclectus Parrot come in that day – a green one – found in my area. I was so hopeful that it was Kai – I didn’t think two green eclectus parrots could possibly be in the same area, so I knew there was a great chance it was him! When I arrived at the shelter they asked if he was a biter and I said no, he doesn’t bite at all, but he had apparently bitten two of their staff and no-one wanted to go in his aviary. I had a twinge of fear that this wasn’t Kai at all, but then thought of the trauma and stress he would have been under and figured a bit of biting was probably not too out of character in the circumstances. As soon as I turned the corner and spotted him – I called his name. Kai turned around and shrieked three times at the top of lungs, wings flapping and came straight to the edge of the wire where I put my fingers through to touch him. The staff were astounded – ‘we don’t need to ID this one’ they laughed. As soon as I got in the aviary Kai came straight to me and cuddled right up, burrowing into me and almost purring like a cat. It was a beautiful renioun.
So after a very intense, emotional and stressful week, we are back together again. So what have I learned?
People are GOOD! I was blown away by the love, support, wishes, comments and thoughts of the people around me, hoping that Kai would return. Many might say ‘it’s just a bird’ but the connections we have with animals can be profound. They are little buckets of unconditional love, and tapping into that can be the most beautiful experience. For so many people around me to be wishing me well and sending us love and support – it was just incredible and makes me so humble and grateful that so many people truly care. The number of people around my neighbourhood who came out of their houses when I was calling Kai and said they would keep their eyes peeled and hoped I found him, was awesome. I encountered beautiful people every single day – caring, loving people. It really did blow me away and reignited my faith in the goodness of people.
I learned that I have to let go of my fear of judgement. That owning a bird may be against some peopele’s values – but it isn’t against mine and I have to be OK with that. If we lived in a 100% natural environment, then we may not need pets (although humans have had animal companions right throughout history) as we would be intracting and living in an environment with animals naturally I believe we need these creatures in our lives and if we treat them with love and care, then although they are not free, they have a quality life. Maybe once we eradicate all factory farming, animal testing, battery hens, pet farming, fur industry, etc etc we can look at the less harmful ways we use animals, but until that day, I am going to love and care for my animal companions and be OK with that – judged or not.
That visualisation is a very powerful tool. I don’t have a parallel universe to know what would have happened to Kai if I hadn’t done all that I did, and if I didn’t garner the love and support of hundreds of people to send out a positive thought that he would be back home again. Maybe if I just left it and continued on with my life, he still would have been found and handed into animal welfare on Monday. I don’t know what sort of influence we have in holding a thought strongly and having faith and belief that it will come to pass, but it certainly may help, and it definitely can’t hurt.
That sometimes the universe can send a clear sign, and that is mind-blowing when it happens that way.
To finish off, on Tuesday morning I had booked a session with a pet psychic to see if we could locate a position for Kai – seeing as he was back home by then, I didn’t cancel the booking but kept an open mind on what this lady might be able to tell me of Kai’s experiences. She communicates with animals and we had a very interesting session. One of the things she said is that he told her that he had to find the right type of person to bring him home, and he was looking for a ‘kind’ one. When she said that, I had goosebumps. Did my thoughts get through? Who knows… But in that session she gave me a very specific and personal prediction from Kai, that is meant to happen in the next twelve months. Watch this space because if it comes to pass, then this whole situation just goes to another level
Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for your kind wishes and positive thoughts – from Malakai and his slave, Leisa