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