Thursday, September 02, 2010

Joy Comes in the Morning

Despite yesterday's emotional breakdown, no one would accuse me of being overly-sentimental about animals. I'm just a border-line animal lover, and most of them don't even earn a nod from me. But the Mourning Dove family on my front porch was different. They didn't sniff, scratch or carry fleas. They didn't pee in my house. As they studiously sat on their nest, and warmed their eggs, and then fed their little hatchlings, three feet from my front door, I fell in love with them. I got a front row seat on a beautiful little miracle of nature.
So yesterday was devastating. Seeing the death of the mama dove and one of her hatchlings undid me. After that, the surviving baby and the daddy disappeared after I had returned the chick to the nest. I was afraid I had messed everything up by doing that. I hoped for the best and prayed for them, but I had no way of knowing what really happened to them.

Then I came home from my workout today to find this!! Yes, baby brother has found his way back up to the nest. All by himself!! Six feet off the ground, and somehow he had gotten back up to it! Quite an impressive accomplishment for a three inch tall downy/feathery person. I guess those little wings are figuring things out.

He was chirping for his breakfast when I discovered him. As I was stewing about how I was going to feed him, he did this:

He hopped/flew down to the rocker on my porch. As I was stewing about whether I should put him back in his nest, I saw this:

Papa Bird lurking on the edge of the porch! Not two feet away from his little one. Hiding from me, I think.

Ahh, prayer answered. They were TOGETHER. Papa was still on the job. What a faithful daddy he is! I know a few human fathers who could learn a lesson or two from this one.

And then this...Daddy hopped up on the porch, and the little hatchling hopped down from the rocker, and daddy proceeded to feed him his breakfast. Beak to beak.
Beautiful. Joy. Relief.

Then they hopped off together to their secret hiding place, for Flight School or Seed-cracking 101, or whatever comes next in baby's education.

Obviously, God has equipped them with powerful survival instincts, and maybe, just maybe, they can do this without me. Since I am completely clueless. And a bit emotional.

Hurricane Earl hits our shores this evening. I considered moving the nest along with all the other potted plants, but I changed my mind. I am just leaving it where it is to swing in the wild unruly winds that are coming our way. I am going to wire it to the hook so it won't blow off. And then, when the winds stop, the mourning doves will know RIGHT. WHERE. TO GO.
(Sigh...I love 'em and I can't stop myself.)

(PS-thanks for all the love and comfort yesterday. It helped a lot.)

Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5


Beckypdj said...

I'm right there with you as far as loving animals, but I can get attached too. :)

I'm glad things turned out the way they did.

I've been hurting for my husband these days as hunting season gets closer and Peyton is not here to go with him.

Thanks for the post.

Rachel said...

I just caught up on your mourning dove saga here at work, and I've been trying to hide the tears in my cubicle.... wow. Such a beautiful story of life and discovery and trial and death in a little microcosm of fluffy-bodied birds.

You are so sweet and I feel for you. I'm happy there's a ray of sunshine with the daddy & survivor. I'm the last one to usually jump there but the whole thing just feels so biblical, if God can take care of these little birds...

Robin said...


Kay said... sweet that they found each other. Crying again, but happier tears this time. : )

karen gerstenberger said...

Thank you for sharing the happiness of your discovery today. This story is really precious.

My friend Elizabeth (a moon, worn as if it had been a shell) recently posted this quote: "In Buddhism patience has three essential aspects: gentle forbearance, calm endurance of hardship, and acceptance of the truth." Your mourning doves seem to be practicing Buddhists. =)
I could learn from them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes Joy in the morning. The pictures are so sweet.
Stay safe with the coming storm. Have a fun family filled weekend. Love you dear friend Sharon

Anonymous said...

I've hardened my heart from all of my losses and I'm asking the good Lord to soften it. He is slowly!
I'm so thankful that yours is still soft enough to fall in love with "Mourning Doves" and to grieve and care for them. You have an amazing heart Karen!

Proverbs 12:10:
10: The Godly care for their animals (including, Mourning Doves)but the wicked are always cruel.
Love Gary

Liza's Eyeview said...

When I was a new Christian and my dsicipler was trying to explain to me what peace that passeth all understanding was - she showed me a picture of a bird (looked like a dove) on a branch cuddled to himself while there is a string wind blowing around, a hurricane going on. She said, that's a peace that passeth all understanding :)

Anna Flowergardengirl said...

Thank you for praying for me. As you can see the time is late and I'm still up. I've got a pounding headache but you know why. Thank you for caring and understanding.

I was wondering how you were going to feed that baby. Good thing daddy came back cause you'd have a hard time chewing worms and letting that baby eat from your mouth. ;) I'd like to see you try though.

Trish Garcia said...

Love it!