In late August, while sitting on a bench at the Fountain of Youth Park in St. Augustine, I wondered where all the peacocks were? It was a late summer afternoon, with a soft breeze coming in from the inlet.
Peacocks always brighten my day so I quietly asked the angels, if we were supposed to see one, it would just show up. On our last visit, in May, there had been quite a party of exquisite fanning peacocks to help celebrate my birthday.
The angels were at work because before long, a lone peacock appeared in the parking lot. I was thankful for the sighting. Elliot and I curiously watched as it busily pecked in between the shiny grill work on a parked SUV.
Elliot joked. He's doing a maintenance check Oil. Washer fluid.
Amused, I wondered if it was a way to sharpen his beak.
What happened next caught me by surprise.
A sightseeing trolley, packed with tourists, pulled up in the parking lot. The driver/guide spotted the alpha peacock, who had since moved away from the car.
Through the trolley loudspeaker, the tour guide told the visitors that the peacocks were in molting season. They were shedding their showy train of feathers, but they would regrow in time for mating season in the spring.
So, now I had the answer as to why these beauties were few and far between. I had no idea that the peacocks lost their beautiful tail feathers each year.
Another lesson was forming, though.
A lesson to watch what you put out there, because it will come right back in your face!
What that driver said next, got my dander up!
His boisterous voice rang out from the loudspeaker, "Peacocks are about the dumbest birds around!" He shared a personal story about an experience he had one day. While waiting for a tour group, he had watched that stupid alpha peacock attack its own reflection. It had pecked away at a car bumper for over an hour. "How STUPID is that?" He bellowed.
I wanted to jump up off the park bench, and speak favor over these exotic birds, but I didn't.
He went on to brag how he had shouted at that alpha peacock, calling it names. "STUPID! DUMB! YOU'RE PART OF THE PHEASANT FAMILY, AND LIKE YOUR ANCESTORS, YOU WOULD MAKE A DELICIOUS MEAL!" He laughed.
That apparently did it! The peacock sprang into action, squawking LOUD! It flew up on the hood of the trolley car, pecking at it.
I had compassion for all of those visitors on vacation, especially for those on a once-in-a-lifetime visit to St. Augustine. They had gotten an earful. Elliot and I watched with a sigh of relief as that menacing driver pulled out of the parking lot, proud as a peacock, hauling a train full of wide-eyed tourists.
What a trip!
We are teaching all of the time. And, this was one of those instances that speaks so clearly the lesson it conveys. I asked the angels for patience and forgiveness.
After the trolley had gone, peace returned and I softly called to the peacock. I told him that he was not stupid, and that he was a beautiful gift from God. And, to ignore what that driver had said about him. We loved him. God loved him.
To my surprise, the peacock came close to the bench, and peeked through a leafy branch. His train was bedraggled, missing the 6-ft long feathery turquoise eyelet quills. But, he was still beautiful to me, and a messenger to stay watchful for my own thoughts and actions. Am I bringing more love to the world, or not. Am I wasting precious time pecking away at myself, not recognizing the mirror of my own excessive self-absorbed actions. That what I perceive as an attack from another is only an unhealed aspect of myself?
Watchfulness is the keyword of the peacock because of its many feathery eyes. Autumn is a time of turning, a season to willingly let go of the old to make way for the new. Like the trees and the peacocks, shed what no longer works, and joyfully look forward to a springtime resurrection.
|Molting Peacock - Fountain of Youth|
Love and joyful blessings!
|Peacock in Molting Season at local Rehab|