When I was a little girl, we had parakeets. I remember how each of them had very different and distinct personalities. Freda was more aggressive and wouldn’t let me hold her. She would peck at the other birds and at me if I came near. It would humor me just to put my finger in because the closer my finger got to her, the further back she would lean, almost to the point where should would be hanging upside down still grasping tightly to the perch with her little feet.
Bubbles ( I know, it sounds like a stripper name… don’t say it) was always wanting to sit on my finger and was happy to sit on my shoulder and let me take him with me all around the house. My brother was six years younger than I was and I recall him putting Bubbles in the front cab of his metal Tonka truck and “driving” him all around the floors in the house. All the while, Freda was perfectly happy being left alone in the cage.
On occasion my mom would trim their wings down and then would leave the cage open for them to be able to step out on the perches and landings she had created on the outside of the cage. I would ask her “mom, why are you cutting their wings?” Of course she would explain that it was so that they wouldn’t be able to fly all over the house. But part of me felt that they should be able to fly. After all, that is what they were made to do. They weren’t created to sit in that cage. They weren’t created to not spread those wings and sore.
The reflective part of me thinks now about Freda. Maybe she became bitter that she had been put in that cage. She was so angry that even when given the opportunity for freedom, she couldn’t take it because she didn’t know anything else. Her mind was closed to the potential of getting out. Day after day, she sat on her perch watching the other birds stepping out.
I can still see Bubbles light blue and white feathers all fluffed up while the wind flew through them as my brother drove him around. Perhaps, he knew that it was the only way he could feel those winds that he himself should be feeling if he could fly himself.
So many days I have felt like that caged bird in my marriage, in my work, in my daily life. We get up and we do the same things day in and day out, but inside we know we were created for more. People come along and want to take us out of the cage and we peck at them because we have become bitter or we are afraid to love and be hurt again. Lord, how I want to fly. Lord, how I want to live my life the way I was created to live.
I’m tired of these clipped wings and being a caged bird. …Let me spread my wings and sore to the places you want me to go…. and to sing while doing it.