It is often said that those who do pilgrimage do it for a reason. Some do it to show gratitude to the Gods for allowing them to have the career they do, some seek guidance. Everybody has their own reason and today, I have found my own.Today, we have lost a parrot. A beautiful little creature that was not even a year old, but was so lively and moody as well. A right little nightmare sometimes, but he was my mum’s baby and she treated him as such sometimes. As we left for our holiday in France we have decided to leave the parrot outside in the aviary that we build. A lot of parrots are left in the aviary during summer without trouble and we even had a neighbour going to check on him twice a day and to feed him at those times as well. This morning, she found the poor little thing on the floor of the aviary, with his leg torn or bitten off at the body, delirious and confused. There was no way any wild animal could have done that to the parrot as the aviary is constructed from dense metal grids. Then again, I guess we’ll never know what had really happened there today. He was taken by our neighbour to the animal hospital in the nearest city. A life without a leg for a parrot is no life at all. He would not be able to feed himself, nor sleep comfortably. Based on the fact that he would have led a crippled and agonizing life, my parents have decided to relieve his misery and they contacted the hospital to put the parrot to sleep.
As a child I grew up in a household that always had a lot of pets. Those of you who also have pets know that when one of them goes, it feels as if a member of a family has gone. I have experienced this grief many times and every time I wonder if there was something that I could have done better. A way I could have treated the pet to show how much I loved them. The number of lives that we have lost in my home…I don’t dare to count. Though, don’t get me wrong. We treat our pets with ultimate care. Most of our pets were either found on the street or taken from a shelter. We treat them almost like humans.
So even if I don’t end up using pilgrimage as topic for my dissertation, I won’t just blindly do the route and be done with it. I am going to do the pilgrimage to pray to Kannon to help the souls of the departed pets, to ease their anguish if they feels any and to be kind to them and assure their safe living on the other side. She might not be right god to pray to for this, but at the end of the day she is the Bodhisattva of Compassion and that is was my mind needs and what my pets need too.
Edit: Excuse my poor typing, but at the time of writing this post I am not on my laptop and this one does not have an English automatic checking.