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The Parrot and Nature

The Native American belief related to spirituality is based upon three sacred creeds: love, honor, and respect. For God, for the Earth we live on, and for every living creature with whom we share this planet. The Native Americans believe we are all one, all given life by a Creator, and in the words of Chief Luther Standing Bear of the Teton Sioux: “there was never a question as to the supremacy of an evil power over and above the power of Good. There was but one ruling power, and that was Good.” Chief Luther Standing Bear’s words express the concept of divinity with such eloquence. These tenets have shaped my personal spiritual journey to this day and I incorporate their principles into every area of my life.

I must admit, my journey didn’t start immediately, I can’t say it was something that I had embarked upon from an early age. I was certainly conscious of a higher power and I always believed there was a God, however, it wasn’t until 2001 when my eyes had really been opened to the great capacities and wonders that were possible on my spiritual journey. That year I had moved to Worley, Idaho and I owned and maintained a 10-acre horse facility which happened to reside upon the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation. During my time there, I found myself developing a greater affinity for myself and the world around me. It was very peaceful and serene.

I had begun keeping parrots in Worley, surrounding myself with a number of these exquisite creatures as they helped me find a deep connection with nature. I became familiar with the Coeur d’Alene tribal traditions of respect and reverence for natural law, and responsible environmental stewardship. This newly discovered connection to nature and the world around me helped to inspire my outlook on life and it sparked in me significant shifts in attitude towards how I looked to the future. The parrot is steeped Native American culture, considered a symbol of fertility by some tribes and a directional guardian by others. Parrots were kept in captivity by Southwestern tribes during colonial times and seen as a sign of luxury by Mexican Indian traders long before that. Many clans use the parrot as their spiritual symbol the Pueblos even count a Parrot Dance among their many tribal rituals.

Since these exceptional birds were revered so highly by the Native Americans I wanted to treat them with the lavish respect that they deserved. I could not let all of my parrots fly about the house, they had to be contained within cages. But I wanted to ensure I was getting them the finest homes with enough room for them to move and interact without feeling confined or restricted. These birds were used to roaming freely, but I needed to keep them safe. One of the locals turned me onto a website where she had bought her own parrot a wonderful cage, There was a wide variety of excellent choices for birds of all sizes and shapes. They offered tips on how to find the proper cage for the type of bird I owned and posted reviews of the cages themselves. I found a couple on the site and there were links to buy them from outside online retailers. I thought I might have some trouble assembling the cages when they arrived but the instructions that were included made putting them together easier than I expected. I am writing this now as I look at my beautiful red macaw staring back at me. She is a pretty bird and I tell her everyday. I talk to all of them and some even respond! These parrots have made the move to Idaho a joy and I look forward to spending years with them by my side. Learning how to care for the parrots has taught me to love, honor, and respect these creatures and the sacred land I have been blessed to be able to walk upon at this reservation. Everyone here has been wonderful and it has opened up my journey of self-reflection in ways I never anticipated. I am eternally grateful and eager to continue along the path.