One of my favourite things as a child was finding a feather. If I caught a glimpse of one gently gliding to the grass, well, what a beautiful, magical day that would be. The brighter the colour of the feather, the better my day went. A red feather, I automatically knew it could only be from a parrot. Green, still a parrot! I was fascinated with parrots and all brightly coloured birds. Birds were everywhere, flying around or hanging out in trees with their friends.
They were in the trees, waiting for me or any kid to wander by, look up, and catch them flying by. In turn, they would let go of one or two feathers as a reward for noticing them. Bright coloured birds such as parrots could only be seen in a pet store so, finding these feathers made it that much more special. Cardinal or Blue Jay feathers were a wonder to see but, for some reason, I just never thought they were the source of my findings.
Then one day something happened that changed how I looked at feathers…
Mom and I were in some store trying to buy a new broom. Wandering back and forth, we looked everywhere in the housewares section. We finally gave up and asked an associate. She told us they were in aisle 6. “They aren’t kept with the other houseware products!” I’m not sure why since I was only a child at the time. As we left the aisle, I saw something high up on the shelf. Stopped and stared mouth agape! Mom grabbed my hand and pulled me towards Aisle six but, my mind was still in Aisle 2. Mom found her broom while I impatiently thought about what I had seen and how I could get back to investigate further.
I knew better than to ask to go back. Thankfully, mom had forgotten to pick something up, so we went back. I walked straight to the section where I had seen it and asked, “Mom, what’s that?” I pointed up as high as I could while balancing on my tiptoes. This led her eyes right to what I could only partially see. Oh, that? She walked over to it, reached up, and brought it down so I could take a closer look. You know when you see something, and you’re all excited because of all the possibilities. Well, mom explained to me that it was a feather duster.
Just like that, there were no brightly coloured birds giving feathers away in our neighbourhood. The truth was upon me now. It was dancing a jig and as usual, shattering my imagination. The feathers I was finding all over my neighbourhood were probably falling out of feather dusters? There were no parrots in the trees. What a fool I had been to think that they could live happily in a climate that reached below 0 in the winter. I was miffed and didn’t say a word the whole way home.
Because of this truth, I stopped looking up at the sky in wonder. I eventually got over it and hadn’t even thought about it until recently. Would you believe that when I went for a walk today, it was that exact joy that brightened my day? I’m glad to report that it still makes me so happy to find a feather. Here’s a picture of the one I found today. If you look close, you can see a slight tinge of blue on this one. It most likely is a Blue Jay Feather or…a Parrot! Yup, this one is for sure a parrot feather!
Also, I posted a time-lapse video of myself drawing and then water-coulouring a bright feather. The link is here. You should check it out! Remember to take the time to notice the things around you when you are out on your walk. Have a great two weeks!