I was unhappy that it was snowing again, and that I had to go out and clear it. It was a light snow, but I have been so overwhelmed with one snow after another over the past few weeks. It has been a rough time lately, with illness, harsh weather, financial stresses and other worries, as well as more than usual frustration over how deeply inconsiderate certain people in my life can be.
But I opened the door and all the sadness and frustration burst forth. A mourning dove, a bird that I love, was laying on the ground next to my shovel. The poor bird had died in this extreme cold. And I felt like he had chosen my door, somehow knowing that I was the only one that would care on this harsh block, in this cold, harsh city. And I do care. I care deeply.
I cried with the tears freezing to my face for the lovely, graceful bird with a mournful voice. My mother taught me to love mourning doves. They have beautiful, subtle coloring to their feathers, and a distinctive, plaintive call. They build rather shoddy looking nests – virtually a pile of twigs, as opposed to the nicely constructed bowls some other birds build. Sometimes it seemed like the eggs would just roll right off. The poor things are not that smart to be perfectly honest. Perhaps they need just a little more looking after than some of the other local residents.
It makes it all that much sadder to me to find this bird at my door. Could I have helped him, given him shelter? Was it all just too much? Too cold, too harsh, too much to cope with? I understand, my little friend. Even though I have a heated set of rooms to hide in, the harshness and the cold is wearing me down.
I found some fabric, an old sheet, and I wrapped up the dove. I set him in an out of the way place, where no one is likely to notice. I want to take him somewhere more natural than my concrete slab of a backyard. Someplace away from the cars and the yelling idiots on my block. I definitely don’t want to put him in a trash can. I need to find the time and the place to give him back to Nature.
Why was this sweet, vulnerable bird in this harsh place? And, really, what am I doing here?
I have always wanted to live in the city for the culture, but lately, it seems to only mean that I’m living in very close proximity to selfish, noisy and obnoxious people. The weather and my being sick has made it all the more clear that I am surrounded by people who will mow anyone down for the slightest convenience or advantage. Life is a constant struggle just to maintain what little we have. Nature gives and Nature takes, but lately it seems like humans give very little and take a great deal.
Good bye, my lovely friend. I will mourn for you.