Doing something for someone else is the very best way to get over yourself. All of us find ourselves in the doldrums at some point. Possibly we are taking life too seriously or personally. Most of the time those are the same thing. There are times in life when maybe you just fill a bit out of step. Here is one way out that I have found that proves to me over and over that giving of your time comes back to you tenfold, and it involves a love bird’s sweater – believe it or not!
Quite by accident, I discovered the fastest way out of the “poor me” mindset is to knit a sweater for my friend’s widowed Lovebird. Do Lovebirds mate for life? According to Smithsonian’s 14 Fun Facts About Lovebirds, yes, they do. When a Lovebird’s partner dies the survivor starts a process of pining, they pluck out all of their feathers until they die either from the cold or because they can no longer fly so are easy prey for a predator. My friend’s bird, Red, is lucky, in that she has someone who cares if she (I am assuming the gender) lives or dies.
For many years, an enterprising soul had an online business manufacturing sweaters for bereaved birds. The owner of this avian outerwear industry apparently passed away at some point. Strangely, no one stepped up to take over the successful (?) business. Consequently, the source for Lovebird sweaters dried up.
Several years ago, knowing I was a knitter, my friend asked me if I would consider making Red a new sweater. Red had gnawed through her last one reducing it to tatters, a parrot’s way of keeping her wardrobe current. She gave me a brief history of the hardship of bereavement as it pertained to Red. Then she presented me with the vestiges of Red’s sweater and asked if I could duplicate it.
I love a challenge! It would be super if I also had the same fervor for documenting things. I don’t, so every ten months, or so I figure out all over again how to knit Red’s sweater. Don’t think for a minute that this Lovebird would accept any old knitted thing. As a discerning bird, she has color, style, and fit preferences. Velcro is not her favorite closure. Now,
that I have discovered that Velcro irritates her skin, her latest sweater sports buttons. I am working on a light tangerine color as an experiment. Her initial reaction was interested, but the jury is still out.
You see that I am posting photos of Red modeling her new duds, but she is shy and the tiniest bit insecure. She thinks people might laugh. Please don’t laugh at my beautiful de-feathered friend!
Knitting for Red these last few years has been an absolute joy and a blessing for me. It takes hardly any time and it reminds me how much doing just a little can make a huge difference in another life. It doesn’t take much. That I have a friend who cares so deeply for her pets is an inspiration. The gift she gave me by asking me to knit her little bird a sweater is immeasurable. Thank you, Caroline.