Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Communication Bead

Last year for my birthday my dear friend Sage Holland gave me a beautiful bead that depicts a white crane on a tropical background of color. The first time I wore it, several people asked me if it was a heron and I realized where the bead fit into my storyline.

Bead by Sage Holland
My daughter Lena has a star-crossed relationship with birds. When she was born, I had a scarlet headed conure. The parrot was jealous of the new little human. The baby would cry, the parrot would shriek and after about 6 weeks, I traded the bird for a python. I had Sheba for about seven years before she moved on to a new home with a breeder.

When Lena started walking, we had a duck that had hatched out and bonded with people. His name was Lucky Duck. The duck decided he was higher on the pecking order than the shaky little human and so he would attack Lena when ever she went outside. It took a while to find a new home for Lucky, because he kept coming back.

Lena was about 6 or 7 when we went canoeing on Pueblo reservoir with my parents. We paddled in and out of coves. We saw lots of fish and wildlife. We pulled into a little inlet, looking for a place for a picnic lunch and my mom said, "Shhh, look there's a heron." We all admired the beautiful bird who was fishing in the shallows. All of us that is, except for the little girl in the middle of the canoe, who looked at the huge bird with the very long pointed beak and was terrified into silence. She was sure that if she made any little noise the horrible creature would come shrieking over and attack us.

I think that we found another cove to eat lunch in that day, I don't really remember. In fact I barely remembered the canoe trip at all, until, as an adult, Lena told me her version of the story. Since then, "Shh, there's a heron" has become family code for  "We might not be communicating here, let's back up and figure out what we meant."

With a lot of changes going on at work, people are out-of-balance and worried. That often makes them quick to react when they perceive something as dangerous. I'm wearing my bead quite a bit lately and trying to watch out for perceptions of monsters. I'm finding ways at work to share the concept of "Shh, there's a heron."

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