Gladys & Ephraim: My Fine-Feathered Friends

By: Peggy Willms 

(4 min. read)

Do I have a history of talking to animals? I didn’t think about it until yesterday. I am a little slow in connecting the dots sometimes. It’s only been about seven years that I have begun recognizing synchronicities, serendipity, and “messages.” Because I struggle “living in the moment” with the excuse of “I am so busy,” I didn’t come to recognize the beautiful life living outside of my laptop until I was sick, tired, and forced to.”

When I moved to Florida in 2016 and started my own business, I became busier than ever. I thought working for Corporate America kept me enslaved…nope it was likely me not only allowing it, but being addicted to it. Self-inflicted drive, intention, and determination have always been a part of who I am, but working for yourself, where you are the only one writing your check, exacerbated these traits even further. There is no “call-in-sick” button. And every day that ends in “y” is a day you are putting forth some effort to propel your business further. Level Up, they say.

In 2017, I received medical news that forced me to to take pause and seek answers. No problem. I am a “find-the-solution-get-it-fixed” girl. Multiple visits with my primary care, endocrinologist, internal medicine, gastroenterology, allergist, ENT, and the cancer center took up several hours and often days of the week. Test after test, procedure after procedure followed—from bone marrow biopsies to rhinoplasty to completely modifying my diet by removing anything that might cause inflammation (meat, processed foods, gluten, artificial flavoring, etc.). Luckily, I came out on top. I am healthier than ever to include my self-awareness and connection to nature.

Getting my feet on the ground (toes in the grass, sand, and water) can change my body and mental state within 15 seconds. Watching the dolphins swim, fish jump, and alligators glide on the top of the water can snap me out of a downward spiral instantaneously. Birds surround me, grabbing my attention to stop what I am doing and talk with them. I know they are the same ones by their behavior and energy; yes, they all have names. Yesterday was such a blessing. Gladys and Ephraim came to see me several times. They physically respond to my “Momma-talk” (You’re such a pretty boy. I am so proud of you.) and commands (Come here.).

Gladys and Ephraim are clearly a couple. I love their little hoedown dance. Their scrawny legs crack me up every time.

They are sandhill cranes with scarlet caps on their head, white cheeks, and a bill that could stab your eye out in one swipe. Both of them are about five feet tall when their necks are extended. I used Gladys’s photo from yesterday on this blog cover. She comes to me immediately. At first, I thought she was a male until I heard her cackle voice. Females keep their beaks horizontally and make two back-to-back notes, whereas males point their beaks up vertically.

She doesn’t like the neighbor’s dog, so she yelled at him yesterday. I calmed her down.

I was sitting outside on my screened-in lanai, where I tend to start my day and work intermittently throughout the day. Their sounds and behavior are the best built-in breaks ever. Gladys and Ephraim came right up to the screen about 10 feet from me. If it wasn’t for the screen, I think she would have come and sat in my lap. I immediately walked towards her, and she followed me as we paced back and forth, catching up on our day. Ephraim was more interested and keeping an eye out for jumping fish. When I talk to her, she cocks her head and stares right at me. I respect animal behavior, know when to give them space, and acknowledge their instincts to protect themselves. I also know sandhill tendencies to connect with humans, especially those you feed, which by the way is illegal.

They went off for a few hours investigating our little lake, but kept coming back to check-in. I posted one of our conversations on my social media platforms so that you can see how gorgeous they are.

I always recognize the gifts nature gives me, like the pair of doves that have come back to us repeatedly to renovate their nests for their next batch of offspring or the warbler that comes to chat every day.

I haven’t seen Gladys and Ephraim yet this morning. They usually stop by for an afternoon coffee. I’ll be ready.

Peggy Willms
All Things Wellness, LLC

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