Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
Article Specs |
Article ID: 3727
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,960
Times Read: 5,831
Author: Don Waterhawk [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: November 23rd. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,831
Osiyo Fellow Humans,
I sit here today (Thanksgiving), pondering a lesson that Grandfather has put before me. I sit here today wondering why the Creator has chosen for me, this particular species of creatures to become and belong to, the Human race. I sit here today, as the odor of cooking food surrounds me, wondering where I should begin my thanks and prayers, as a Human being. I sit here today, ready to eat what I am going to talk to you about, a Bird. (No..not Kokopelli, although that has crossed my mind a few times in the past), but of one that has been killed for me, and that I was going to eat. It is of its Tribe that I wish to talk about. The Walkers of the Sky Nation. It is about a Clan within this Tribe that is in trouble. It is about Walking in Balance with the heart of Gratitude, and it's Sister and Brother, Honor and Respect. It is about Sharing as Equals within the Wheel of Harmony. I sit and trust that I can speak well enough for those that cannot, our friends the Birds.
There is a place in Tavenier Key, Florida that has become very close to my heart. It has become one of the greatest teaching lessons that I have been gifted with. This same thought is shared by many. It is run by an Elder named Laura, who, when one looks into her eyes, see the absolute lesson of love for the Creatures that fly. This smallish in stature, wiry, torn shirt (always), Band-Aid holding her glasses together, stoop shouldered (from carrying fish buckets to the *Moochers*), covered in blood, feathers and fish scales (she's always like that each time I see her), never stopping to rest (unless someone asks her a question), no bullshit, and fiercely determined Lady, has earned the Respect, Honor, and Gratitude from not only the 100, 000's of Birds (and people), but has earned it also from the Creator. This Grandfather has told me, but he didn't have to..I knew that already. Each year that Daniella and I make the trip to the keys with friends of the Pagan community, we have asked them to come with us, for at least a few hours, to the Bird Sanctuary of Laura's. Each time this happens, I get to share with new eyes what I had seen the first time I went there..and each time, about half through, my eyes well up with tears of both sadness of what had happened, and joy for what is happening now, then back to sadness for what may be. Laura has told me that she may have to close the Center, for there is no longer any money coming in. As her eyes filled with water from the emotions that she was emanating from her heart, she put her buckets down and told me what was going on. There was such sadness coming from her heart, mixed in with bitterness of her feelings towards her own Tribe, us Humans. I had asked her how she was, she shrugged, and said that there was something more important to deal with. She said that, with all the compassion being shown to the turmoil's that have recently happened to the world of people, and the coming of the holiday seasons, that the normal donations that come into the Center have dwindled to very little and sometimes nothing at all. She was afraid, as she looked around, that this would be no more. In her heart, this is what life is about, sharing with creatures in trouble. So I stood before her, feeling my own emotions rise, tasting the bitterness of who I was and what I belonged to, and placed my hand on her shoulder, looking into the eyes that held the energy that I could only hope to have a small part of, and told her that I would talk to the Clan of my Tribe, my community.
Talk to you about the first time that I walked the old boardwalk, smelling the strong odor of fish, slapping mosquito's from my face, and getting shit upon from an Emperor Pelican that I had not seen sitting on the rooftop above me. About the time that I sat in front of a Bald Eagle tearing apart some fish and stopping to look at me. And me noticing that it only had one wing which meant that it will never again fly its world. And how I tried to temper my anger from what one of my tribe had done to it. But Grandfather made me look into its eyes, that great Bald Eagle, and to see the Honor that this bird has and the Honor that it felt its life had become. For this Eagle is now a teacher, this Eagle is a healer, this Eagle has completed its Wheel of Harmony, and now it is the Giveaway. This Eagle is Honored to sit inside a cage and to look each person in the eye, and say "Thank You!", thank you for looking at me, and seeing what I have become for my kind. And that Eagle will give a lesson, a gift, to each person that see's. It is a lesson about our arrogance from walking away from the Wheel of Harmony. It is about that it is never too late to turn around and walk back in.. Talk to you about trying to get a baby Pelican (that had been thrown out of its nest) to eat, by using a puppet Pelican with fish in its cloth beak. It worked, by the Goddess how I cried when it finally ate. Talk to you about what its like walking the boardwalk and being shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of Great White herons, Great Blues, Egrets, and Pelicans, who were unafraid of us, as they understand that this place was sacred and they need not fear us here. Talk to you about the rare "Muppet Bird" (night feeder) that we had found and brought to Laura's and watched and helped her try to save the bird. It died, and how I cried. Talk to you about 23 pagans who came down one day to help build one of the cages, do surgery, separate frozen fish (messy) clean, feed, as we were surrounded by wild birds, uncaged, as they watched us build and cry with the energy that surrounded us. And the pride we feel everytime we see it. Talk to you about a wonderful Elder who with two 25lbs. buckets of fish, would walk to the waters edge to feed the Moochers each day at 4:30PM. (moochers are Birds that have been rehabilitated, but that come back when in need of love, safety and care) Talk to you about what has started, and what could end.
I would love to go on and on, I have so much more to say about this place. Laura receives no money from the Federal, State government. She asks for none. Its about control she says. I believe her. Local fisherman give her whatever extra catch they can for the Birds. Veterinarians volunteer their time continually. There are no paid staff. Not even Laura. Even the well stocked gift shop that has been dedicated to Princess MoonFeather (Tsalagi) has no one in it, Laura truly believes in Honor.
So what am I asking, to look into your heart, to feel the Medicine and Magic of the Wheel of Harmony, and if possible, to send donations to the Center. They are tax deductible. Tell Laura you are from the community that WaterHawk talked about, she would like to know. I feel an urgency, like I have never known, about this. So why, Don, should we expend the energy for this when there is so much else to do? Well, have you listened to the sound of the Bird's this morning? Have you seen them flying over you this afternoon? Do you understand the Medicine and Magic of the Birds? That they may have the key to the door of the Wheel of Harmony? That they give us the medicine wings to fly high above ourselves and see the full picture of our lives, and where we stand, as an equal, within the Sacred Circle of All Things.
And if you ever get down that far South, the Keys, and you stand under the roof, and a Pelican shits on you, I trust that after you clean it off and deal with the major body huzz of yuckiness of being shit on, that you will smile just as big as I did, Nyeh Weh!
Send Donations to:
Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
MM 93.6 Bayside
93600 Overseas Highway
Tavenier, Florida Keys
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
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