The Price We Pay

Feathers lay on the hardwood planks
in blue and white or striped
not unlike leaves under a tree in autumn.

When I began to toy around with the idea of bringing home a pair of feathered friends,
the thought of cleaning up their mess
or being irritated by their song at times inappropriate
made me put off taking the plunge to visit the local pet aviary.

But, here we are, a year later, having learned that this sweet couple remains quiet
as long as their cage is covered, so noise is not an issue at all.

The mess … well ….. that’s another story.

When we first brought these two home, it was near Thanksgiving.
They were extremely quiet and still for the first few weeks.
But, they slowly warmed up to us and now we all know what to expect.

I cover their cage when I go to bed around 8:30 pm.
It is uncovered in the morning by sweet Joy around 7:30 am.
She changes their water and gives them fresh food every morning.
We clean their cage once every week or so.
When we clean their cage,  we take them out
and let them F L Y around the house for about fifteen to thirty minutes.
(No, they don’t “poop on everything.”  We’ve only been given that gift
once that I saw … and it was about the size …. of ……
let’s see …….. something universally known ….maybe a sugar ant?
It was tiny.)

When they first came home they hardly dropped a feather.

But, oh, dear spring!

With the lengthening of days,
they are active.
Rocket is serenading this girl, Zana.
He bobs his head and feeds her.
He dances and sings …. and sings …. and sings.
He flies about. He preens her lovingly.
And feathers, they are a-flying.

And they are cleaning their plate.
We have added 50% more food to their bowl each morn
because they are eating more.
Will we get to see them bathe soon?
We haven’t been given this treat yet.
In fact, I don’t understand how they haven’t dehydrated … shriveled up and died.
I’ve only seen them at the water bowl … four times? ….  since bringing them here.

All this activity has …..
well, like toddlers in the house,
it has made a mess.
Today I saw sweet feathers on the hutch right beside the cage,
I thought   … “This is the price we pay.”

And it’s true, isn’t it? Everything has a price ….
every thought … word and action.

I guess my most concerting question is
Do I cost more than I am worth?
Do my words uplift? And do well?
Am I a positive influence on those around me?
Do I  speak words of life and encouragement?
Or do I leave a conversation
with feathers scattered about on the floor ….
a mess that someone else must clean up?
Are my actions helpful? Do I use my energies in a way that blesses others?
Or do others have to come behind me
to sweet up the debris of my visit?
And even my thoughts? Do they keep me focused on
the giver of Life? … the Strength that I need? … the One who is Love?
Or are my thoughts full of babble … and condemnation?

Joy and I made the decision to bring these
delicate, winged beauties into our home.
And, yes, there is a price we must pay for their presence.
I believe that the blessing of their presence in our lives
well outweighs the cost of the action of their care.

I just pray that my presence in the lives of others
is also worth the effort that is required to upkeep that relationship.

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