On New Years Eve of 2016, I missed a connecting bus from Kampala to Bujumbura, coming by bus from Nairobi.
The situation was a bit stressful because we needed a place to sleep. Luckily we were offered a bed outside of Kampala in the rural area.
On the first of January this year, after breakfast, surrounded by tea fields, I took an outside shower.
Somebody was staring at me.
The curtain of the shower was moving. It was a parrot who tried to move the curtain of the shower. Probably he never saw a Muzungu, a white man, stranger, taking a shower there.
After the shower I took some pictures of him.
Taking a picture is capturing a moment. By taking a picture, you freeze time.
After taking the picture, you take time to look at that frozen moment in time. By looking at it you start to see..more..
You see what you didn’t see the moment you took the picture. You see beyond.
First there was a moment of stillness. The parrot was then fully in the cage. There was no sound.
That was the moment of observation.
After a while, I started to talk to him.
I gained his trust, after a few minutes of talking to him, he placed his head out of the cage to have a clearer look at me. His view was not clear by the cage surrounding him.
So he had to decide to leave his comfort zone.
He had to trust me, to place his head out of the cage. His head was not protected anymore by the cage.
But now his view was clear not so confused or not blocked anymore.
I love the symbolism behind this scene captured in the picture.
A parrot is the symbol of the unexpected since a bird is not expected to talk.
The mediator, as the parrot, need to open their minds to the unexpected.
They both need to listen deeply before they repeat what is said.
While a dove is the symbol of peace, I love this parrot to be the symbol of mediation and the mediator.
A mediator is in the cage (the dispute, the conflict) with the parties. Trust is the basis for the mediation to get out of that cage. Also the parrot had to trust me, to place his head out of the cage to see me clearly.
The same with the mediator and the parties. To come to peace, they will have to come to trust by leaving their insecurities behind and place their trust in the mediator and the mediation process. That hopefully, maybe will guide them to a mutual beneficial settlement or understanding that connects them again in a clear relationship.
The way the parrot looks,
he is not only looking more clearly now, because not limited or blocked anymore by the cage.
But also it allows him to see further. Through a clear ‘focus’.
The same with the mediator.
With his open mind he will see further than what he hears and what he sees.
He is the one that will guide the parties to more clarity and peace.
Only a clear mind can bring other confused minds to clarity.
So see with an open mind, see clearly!
Look beyond the cage 😉
There is PEACE!