When I was young, peacocks were, in my mind, nearly mythical creatures. Their elegant strutting, colorful plumage, and resounding cries were what stories were made of.
Not having any peacocks of my own or in the neighborhood, they were also elusive. A yearly trip to the state zoo often satisfied my curiosity yet left me wondering what it must be like to be so majestic.
The older I grew, the less I went to the zoo. And now, here I am, at least two decades removed from my last up-close animal encounter of any good consequence, with the exception of the rarely spotted coyote or roadrunner.
Without their presence to remind me, I’d forgotten much about peacocks. Until recently. Here then, in homage to these extraordinary creatures, is today’s FIVE THINGS FRIDAY: Peacocks.
1. Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor. A Southern writer, Ms. O’Connor deflates the notion that all writers are the same. There is something exquisitely different and compelling not only about the Southern writer, but of the stories they tell. This book is teaching me to not be afraid of telling the stories that only I can tell.
2. King. Imagine my surprise that the very first chapter of Mystery and Manners is titled “The King of the Birds.” This is the catalyst for my resurfaced love. Ms. O’Connor wrote of the many peacocks she owned, their behaviors and antics. How beautiful to read of the differences between peacocks and peahens. Not only have I learned more about the craft of writing, I discovered more about peacocks than I previously knew. With all their afore-mentioned qualities and more, they most certainly deserve this title. And here’s another tie-in to New Orleans (are you surprised?)—one of the main characters of my new favorite TV show (NCIS: New Orleans, of course!) is nicknamed “King.”
3. My daughter. She should be a peacock. She’s stunning. She’s gentle yet strong. She doesn’t worry about what others think when she’s doing her thing. And she’s extremely talented. Earlier this week I asked her to paint me a peacock. This is her work in progress:
4. Home. Just recently I started a home-improvement kick that has snowballed into the desire to repaint nearly every room in the house. It’s my intention to brighten up my bedroom with a lighter, softer palette. I’ve decided on a pale peacock theme. Can you imagine a retreat in those cozy colors? Just check out this idea I found through Lowe’s Pinterest board (used by permission.)
— Lowe’s (@Lowes) September 28, 2014
5. NOLA. Let’s be real—everything in my life right now leads back to New Orleans. How did I not see before this month that the peacock holds the colors prevalent in Mardi Gras and The Big Easy? Glorious purples, blues, greens and gold. When I get to New Orleans, I want to wear a peacock Mardi Gras mask and hat, and strut about the streets without a care in the world. NOLA is more than a book to me. It infuses every part of me. It’s my book, my characters. I live, eat, breathe, and sleep NOLA. The peacock has become my personal symbol of that creativity and success, as well as freedom and individuality.
BONUS: Without realizing it, I’ve already started turning into a peacock. My wardrobe is more colorful than it used to be. There’s a feather in my bedroom. I’m more attracted to blues and purples than I used to be. Dot bought me these earrings for my birthday last spring. While they’re not peacock feathers, they certainly remind me of them. As you can imagine, they’re now my favorite and I wear them more than any other except my pennies.
How fun might it be to own a real peacock? I’ll keep that in mind for Bedford Manor.
Now it’s your turn: What beautiful creatures influence your life? Leave your Five Things Friday in the comments below.
And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!