Enter the Pheasant ~

The red pheasant stalked gracefully across the field between and around the newly baled hay. His presence much in evidence, I noticed him day after day.

What is your message, lovely one? You remind me of the peacocks that guard the ancient temples. Is there something here worth guarding? Why have you chosen this place, to play?

There are two possible locations for his nesting area, both in the deep verges beneath the walnut trees. I’ve been startled by explosive flapping and calling, as the hen leaves her shelter, feeling the approach of what is surely a beast of prey. {I did have chicken for dinner, so…}

The male never runs. He does not seem to hide, until the very last minute. Then, he simply disappears. Odd, for one so brightly plumed.

I popped online to research pheasant medicine a bit and found this:

Honor yourself by being your full glorious self and stop pretending to be something you are not. ~ Pheasant

It made me wonder. This particular bird keeps strutting about the pastures, oblivious to potential danger from local hunters, though they are indeed forbidden on this property.

Pheasants apparently share my love of wide open spaces. The views across the rolling hills and meadows stretch my heart almost to capacity. The feeling is different than the protection and nurturing of old-growth trees.

The ‘forever’ heart-reach is reserved for meeting points of earth-sky-and-sea. Were there a meeting point of all of these, my heart might burst, or so it seems. Open landscape and green, yes. My heart is at peace. So why the strutting?

The Spirit Animals site referenced in the photo caption above had this to say:

“Have you asked yourself lately whether or not you have been enjoying the pleasures of life? Are you enjoying the beauty that surrounds you? Are you discovering new erotic experiences, good fellowship and happiness? All these wonderful things surround you right now and are there for your enjoyment. But only if you believe yourself worthy of enjoying your own success.”

I no longer ‘believe’ in success nor in failure. I live in the flow of the beauty around me. I see this even when it is succinctly framed and bound by concrete jungle (though time spent in those locations is always short). Enjoyment. Ah.

Am I truly enjoying what life has to offer? The rose bushes out front simply force one to stop and drink in the olfactory delight of their many blossoms. The local farmers’ market is ripe with organic bread, as only the French know how to make it. My favorite vendor boasts cheese encrusted with the flowers of spring, Tommes de truffes, and butter that will melt you where you stand. Another favorite offers honey from locally kept bees, its sweetness tasting of the gifts that nature provides. Flower and forest, the flavors are distinct and wondrous.

Last evening, the pheasant hen made an appearance. Her softer greys and browns bobbing out of sight in the tallest grasses, she eyed me warily before taking off for covey and cover under the trees.

Do all female bodies feel vulnerable on this world? Might that have something to do with the message to en-joy? And what of her strutting counterpart, weaving his way through bales and grasses, his orangey-reds so obvious among the green? How is he, so unafraid of flying his colors?

My first experience with a pheasant was with the mounted and stuffed ring-neck at my grandfather’s house. The softly shimmering feathers fascinated me, as I waited to be thought old enough and careful enough to touch them.

I finally learned that this pheasant had earned its pride of place by being part of my father’s first shooting trip. My grandfather had always gone shooting for pheasant and duck. I loved his wooden collection of duck callers and the funny quacking noises they made when I blew through them, wrinkling my little nose at the pipe smoke smell.

On that hunting trip, my father’s first, he bagged the first pheasant. My grandfather was so proud, he had it fetched, stuffed and mounted. My father never went shooting again.

When I heard that story, I understood my father’s sad eyes whenever I admired the lovely feathers. I knew why he was loathe to have me touch the bird. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust my careful fingers. It was that he didn’t trust himself.

Hiding in plain sight, the local pheasant strides through the fields. One day he lands atop a hay bale in full view of me and my laptop, stretching and flapping his wings. Another day, he seems to accompany me on my walk, paralleling my wanderings at a more-than-respectful distance, but walking with me just the same.

I have been feeling grief, yes. Have I caused the death of something beautiful? A friendship, perhaps, a shared dream? Or is it something more, something deeper?

Is there some part of me that has been stuffed and mounted? A trophy for a time, a source of grief for another?

Or perhaps my friend the pheasant is simply a part of the magic that surrounds me when I set myself free to roam.

Are there roaming charges in the mystical worlds? “I think not” said the pheasant, scoffing mightily, as his blue-green crowned head vanished among the trees.

***

Thank you for reading! I am in the midst of a re-invention adventure. I appreciate you walking the mystical path with me for whatever part of the way. I can be found at chaliceofwisdom.com, or currently wandering the world in appreciation of wonder. I would have written ‘search’ but nature laughed so hard my hands shook and ‘appreciation’ came through instead. Funny world, this.

~Namaste~

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Nalini MacNab

Nalini MacNab

I live, learn, write, create and share the experience of embodying HER Infinite Love. https://www.nalinimacnab.com