Peacocks and the Academy
There is a serendipitous story to the predominant presence of peacock feathers on my website and advertising materials, and it all revolves around the years 1985 to 2021 that I taught reflexology to professionals.
A number of years ago, while talking to my then current class of reflexology certification students at the Florida School of Massage, I became aware that everyone’s eyes were more focused behind me than on me, presumably at something beyond the glass doors at my back. I looked over my right shoulder to see a peacock and peahen standing on the other side of the French doors peering in (or at least it looked like they
The male immediately started his eerie screeching. It was soon apparent that I could not speak over this determined bird; one of the participants offered to go outside and “have a word” with this gorgeous male. I don’t know what Luke said, but the peacock stopped screeching and actually left, not to be seen again until Sunday evening when I was packing up to leave. (More on that later.)
The female, on the other hand, spent the entire day outside that glass door, and for the most part, at the window watching me. (I admit that she was probably admiring her own reflection in the glass, but I like to think that she was interested in reflexology!). When we would take breaks the students would wander outside under the canopy roof and the peahen would just hang out with them, even when a few sat to eat their lunch. On Sunday morning when we returned, she was still there, as if waiting for us. It was so delightful. I loved having her as part of the group.
On Sunday, one of the other participants (now my teaching assistant at FSM), Jen, brought in a copy of the book Animal-Speak to share what the book had to say about peacocks. I could barely believe my ears!
The book explained that the two most outstanding features of the peacock are its gorgeous plumage and its raucous call. (Nothing new there.) The author went on to relate a story he had heard that tied this magnificent bird’s vocal expression to the appearance of his feet. The author then stated that the peacock is known to have ugly feet, and the story goes that he screeches every time he catches sight of his own feet!
“Wait a minute”, I said, and immediately jumped up to check it out. I peered through the glass at the peahen’s feet and then softly proclaimed to her that I thought she had lovely feet. Throughout the day I took every opportunity to remind her of that.
With a sly smile, Jen continued reading the book’s claim that if the peacock showed up in your life, you should study foot Reflexology! I could barely believe what I had just heard (in fact, I accused Jen of making it up!).
Although I had yet to formally announce it, I had decided to move the Therapeutic Hand & Foot Reflexology Professional Certification training from Gainesville to Saint Augustine, Florida beginning the next year (2005). With Jen’s words, visions of blue-green iridescent peacock feathers appeared in my head. I immediately saw a brand new brochure and website adorned with beautiful, bright peacock plumes. I felt affirmed in my decision to move the training to the beach.
A perfect end to that weekend and this story: when I drove my car under the canopy roof to pack up after the last day’s class, the male peacock returned to join the female in saying good-bye. They both stood right beside the trunk of my car and just watched me load up and drive away. And to this day, whenever I am teaching reflexology at the Florida School of Massage (only reflexology; no other subject), the peacocks show up in numbers to watch us exchange foot reflexology sessions.
If you’re interested, you can read more about peacocks, a magnificent creature once believed to be the figment of overactive imaginations!