an encounter in Miami

I’m in Miami, at a meeting related to a new research protocol.  I took a walk around prior to the start of the program, and when I was approaching my hotel after strolling by the water I found a lovely, red-cheeked cockatiel, squawking on the ground. Perhaps escaped from the confines of domestic life, or perhaps abandoned by those who could no longer care for him, he appeared ill-equipped for life on the streets of Miami.  There are strong weather currents about, and his yellow plume was ruffled in the wind.

“Here, birdy!” I crouched next to him. 

He appraised me with distain.  Squawk!

“C’mere sweetie!”  He started to waddle away from me.   I’m not sure he could fly.  Squawk!

He awkwardly moved towards a concrete wall and sat there.

I wanted to pick him up or pet him, but wasn’t sure that would make him feel any better.  I had no vehicle, no way to take a bird in my hotel room, and a meeting to attend in less than an hour.  There were only a few hotel staff around, running too quickly to acknowledge me, let alone stop to help a distressed cockatiel.

So I left him sitting, facing the wall, this vibrant, lovely creature.  And I wept for my helplessness, my weakness, my limitations.  I cried for the beings of the world that can do nothing but face the insurmountable barriers before them and shriek, and I shed hot tears that beautiful, living things are often discarded like trash. 

I wish things were different.

4 thoughts on “an encounter in Miami

  1. tombernardo

    You saddness over things being discarded is justified. We see it in Florida with all manner of pets, becuase the animals tend to thrive in the tropical environment. That little guy was surviving, and showing you so by exhibiting his independence for you. Do you think just the beauty of the bird was presented to you for another reason? You saw the beauty and you have compassion and it came out. That in itself might have been the purpose of your Miami encounter.

    Good luck with the new protocol.

  2. bornbyariver Post author

    I hope so. Maybe he’ll live a long and healthy life in the skies of Miami. Maybe he had a message for me. I don’t know, but it struck a chord.


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