THE LOVELORN PEACOCK
Gayle Walters Rose (BodhiRose)
Gayle’s cute story of the unrequited love of a bird of a different feather … (Editor’s Note)
In the summer of 1971, I moved from my hometown of Orlando (Florida, U.S.A.) down to Miami to help start an ashram there. A friend and I were part of an organization that taught yoga, meditation, vegetarian diet and a lifestyle of disciplined, spiritual practice. He had been dispatched from the main center in Orlando, some months prior to start yoga classes down south and had showed up at my door one day to ask if I would move there and help him. I thought to myself, sure – why not – it would be an adventure.
He had rented a small house in Coconut Grove on shady, coconut tree-lined Kumquat Street and I took up residence in one of the tiny bedrooms when I arrived. Right down the street was another communal compound of people making a home together in a large, two story house.
It was a cool time to live in Miami. There were neat little head shops, and many hippie-type stores that sold candles, incense, clothing, books, etc. and some great health food stores and even restaurants that were completely vegetarian. It was all new to me but I was in my element!
Before long we had gatherings of like-minded people coming nightly for our yoga classes and life was humming along.
Part of the charming quaintness of Coconut Grove was the community of peacocks that freely roamed the neighborhood streets. You could hear their ear-piercing calls from blocks away but I never tired of spotting them walking down the road, perched in a tree, or up on someone’s roof.
One male peacock in particular started frequenting the small, enclosed courtyard in front of our house. Soon he started showing an unhealthy interest in me. Whenever I would arrive or depart the house, and if he happened to be outside, he would approach me with his feathers spectacularly displayed and “shake” them at me. This bird was courting me! With his feathers held straight up, he was just about as tall as I was. Whatever direction I took, he would get face-to-face with me and “shimmy”. I became a bit intimidated by this…yikes! He was extremely insistent:I took to running past him to get in or out of the house but, after some time, I believe he finally realized that his love for me would remain unrequited and he moved on elsewhere to find a more suitable partner.
© story/essay ~ Gayle Walters Rose (Bodirose), 2011 All rights reserved
Photo credit ~ morgueFile