Although it's really hard for all of us at this time, I'm staying with my dear friends Josh and Sarah in their "compound," a many-layered multi-level house with rooms and cubbyholes everywhere. It was purchased a few years ago, right after I left Boulder, so I never had a chance to see it before. It's been a long time and a lot of work, but there are only a few rooms that are not finished yet. It's filled with love and life everywhere you look. When I left Sarah three years ago, she was still recovering from the loss of her two beloved cats and had no animals. That has certainly changed! Here are three of my favorites:
These are, left to right, Peanut, Yellow, and Green. These parrots get the opportunity to leave their cage and fly around the living room. They have this unique little hang-out space there, and they love to swoop over my head, lifting my hair a little, on their way from one place to the next. Yellow and Green are brother and sister, a little less than two years old, while Peanut is a rescue bird of about five years. These parrots live to their mid-twenties, usually. Peanut, until coming to live here, had never in four years been able to fly and was in a cage about the size of a canary's. She wouldn't leave her cage for a long time, but little by little she has joined the other two and had to learn to fly as an adult. She's not as proficient as the other two, but she is happy and a real delight. She's my favorite, and her call is different from the others. She can also say "nighty-night" before the cover goes over the cage at night. Other than their shrill squawks, they are extremely well behaved.
Then there are the fish tanks. I haven't counted them, but there must be at least fifteen of them all through the lower level, all but two being salt water tanks, and every fish has a name. This picture shows the largest tank and the parrot cage when they are not out flying around. You can see a chair in the foreground for sitting and watching the tank. Everything you see is alive: the coral, crabs, shrimp, and of course the different fish. Three rescue cats and a dog round out the inside animals. Outside in the yard are numerous bird feeders and squirrel feeders. This morning we saw a kestrel catch a bird and take it home for a snack.
Nemo and the coral beneath him seem to be in a symbiotic relationship. He dives into it, peeks out, seemingly snuggling and scratching his fins with the coral. It's mesmerizing to watch. I've now spent quite a lot of time watching the fish tanks, which are so soothing and restful to my spirit.
I'm in good hands, and tonight Sarah is preparing a ten-person chili party of friends I knew when I was here before, with a few new ones I'll meet tomorrow thrown into the mix. It will be nice to see them without the ordeal that we will all face tomorrow at Emily's memorial service. I am so blessed to be in a place where I can see and feel the continuity of life and the love that surrounds this place.