The apartment we’re staying in Mosman, NSW has a veranda with glorious views out to the bay, and beyond that to the ocean. The veranda is also a stopping off point for a couple of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos who patrol the area picking up ‘dainties” from well meaning locals such as myself. These feathered beauties are no bird brains either. One actually will come up to the glass door and tap it’s beak on it to gain our attention should it’s fearsome squawking not be enough to rouse us from our morning duties.
But what struck me most about them was that they can eat a piece of bread with one foot, whilst standing on the other foot perched on a precarious ledge some 35 feet above the ground. Not only that, they are also very wary of humans, which, if you’re a bird, a beast or a fish, is quite a sensible thing to be.
My perching parrots got me thinking about how we humans create our own comfort zones. How we embed ourselves in our homes, our jobs, our families and our communities. How we like to feel comfortable, in command and safe. But somehow, as we grow older, life slowly leeches that illusion of safety away. Somehow things don’t always work out as we’d planned: the job we wanted wasn’t how we saw it: the relationship we thought we had has turned into a desiccated day to day endurance event: life seems to be run to other peoples deadlines - most of which seem ridiculous to us. The list often appears endless.
But then a cockatoo lands on your veranda!
Have you every tried brushing your teeth standing on one leg? Walking over a rough surface in bare feet? Lying on the beach/grass/park bench and looking at the stars at night? Then there’s learning a new language: taking up drawing/woodwork/cooking/gardening: anyone for Latin American dancing?
All of us - young, old, tall short, stout or slim, of whatever faith, creed or religion we may be, we can all push back the boundaries of ignorance which has limited our thinking about what we are truly capable of.
In my books I write of ordinary folk who manage to do great things, not because they chose to, or even wanted to, but because they could.
***** By the way - do NOT try eating a piece of bread whilst standing on one leg whilst perched on a high veranda ledge - not unless you have wings! *****