Dove Days of Summer

I have a problem. There is a beautiful little brown bird in my windowsill. I tried very hard over the last week and a half to discourage her from building her nest in my windowsill, as I will need to open that window to fan in fresh air when Cleveland finally heats up. I live in the attic. It gets warm. But despite my best efforts, the little brown bird insisted that this was indeed where she needed to be and after I dumped out her nest three times I came home to find her sitting on a patchy little nest of twigs and two small, pink eggs. I let out a deep sigh. Now it was a moral dilemma: to kill or not to kill.

I frightened her away several times just to get a better look at her brood. The two eggs, about the size of plump olives, sat side by side, with their creamy pink shells, glowing translucent in the reflected afternoon light. What was I do with these two marvels and the patient mother bird who now waited out of eye-shot till I retreated from her nest? I closed the window and thought.

I will swelter in the heat of coming days before this bird and her young have left. I could try to move the nest to some other locale; a nearby jutty or ledge somewhere else on the house top. I could upend the nest and let it drop three stories, killing the new eggs and displacing the mother. I could remove the eggs and decorate them as pysanka (that one gave me a chuckle when I thought of it. Trying to decorate miniscule eggs is funny to me for some reason). None of these alternatives were that appealing. Fortunately, it's still cool enough to keep the window closed. I went to work and weighed my options. I looked it up on my computer and found a picture: It was a mourning dove. A common enough bird.
I told a coworker about the bird. She seemed enthusiastic. "Oh, how lucky you are! That bird chose you for some reason." "Excuse me?" I responded. "Yes," she said, "You have an animal totem. Would you like to know what the dove means?" I stammered a response and this petite woman rushed to her office computer and began her search of the mystical meaning of the little brown dove in my window. "It's gestation period is four to five weeks," she shouted from her desk, "here, I'll print it out for you." A long pause from her office and then I hear her say, "Oh." And then, "Oh!" "What did you find?" I was all curiosity at this point. "You'd better come see this," she said. I stood behind her as she read the mystical Native-American interpretation of the dove. In a serious, clear, reverant voice.

"The dove holds the qualities of home, security and maternal instincts. Many with this totem will experience unsettling childhood's."

(whew, I thought, good thing I've already gotten the unsettling childhood out of
the way...)
"The legends and lore surrounding the dove associates it with many goddesses and it is considered the embodiment of the maternal instinct. The brood of dove consists of two eggs. Two represents the creative and feminine energies. Home and family are important to those with this totem and life lessons will be most predominant in these areas. "

Here the woman looked up at me with a mock "uh-oh" face. I just smiled. "Looks like you'll be getting married soon!" (Oh, geez. I'll be sure not to tell that to my boyfriend!) "And getting pregnant!" (Or that!)
"Since the dove is a ground feeder and eats mostly seeds those with this totem would benefit from a diet rich in wholesome seeds, nuts and grains. They would also do well in any health profession relating to nutrition."
"Like your granola bars," she added over her shoulder. I rolled my eyes and she continued.
"The dove's song is its most distinctive feature. It can be heard throughout the day. The mourning coo of the Dove reflects hidden emotions stored within those who carry this medicine. How you perceive its sound often reflects the energies that are playing out in your life."

(a beautiful thought, actually. The dove's call was open to interpretation and I had experienced sometimes with joy and sometimes with longing for whatever it was the bird seemed to be calling for.)
"When dove appears it is asking us to go within and release our emotional discord, be it of the past or the present. It assists us in releasing trauma stored within our cellular memory. Humming can aid in this release."
We both laughed. "If you catch me humming in the office," I said, "you can only blame yourself."

She continued,
"Doves hold the energy of promise. When inner turmoil is cleared from our thoughts, words and feelings, the possibility of good fortune awaits us. In order to receive the gifts the doves bestows on us healing on all levels is paramount."

So there, you have it, folks. My little mourning dove is a good omen of healing and change. And motherhood. Dear God.

On the other hand, doves are also a lovely symbol of peace, recovery, and blessing. So, I may have to move to a cooler room of the house as the weather heats up, but I am going to let the dove have the windowsill and I am going to take her as a sign.

Pictures and story to follow.

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Blogger Worldgineer said...

I thought I heard humming.

Most sound like good signs, though you could ask for more. "...the possibility of good fortune awaits us..." So good fortune is possible. The doves aren't guaranteeing good fortune, or even claiming that it's likely. But at least it's possible.

Could you paint their shells and put them back?

24/5/06 15:37  
Blogger Steve DeGroof said...

If your window is a two-piece sash window (i.e. bottom half slides up over top half) you might have an out. Leave the bottom in place and open the window by sliding the top half downward. Window open, bird undisturbed, everybody happy.

24/5/06 17:07  
Blogger lostdog said...

Excellent - you've been adopted. Now go out and buy a fan.

25/5/06 01:53  
Blogger Saint Kansas said...

Yeah, but they poop like crazy.

25/5/06 08:12  
Blogger Saint Kansas said...

P.S. My daughter called me at work yesterday to report on a very tragic bird death on our back deck. My son was bawling. I'm gonna show them this post later today to cheer them up.

P.P.S. I'm endlessly amused at the thought of looking up "mourning dove" on the computer. I thought I was out of touch with nature.

P.P.P.S. Gotta love those Google Ads. Where else would I have found "a One-Year Shamanic Training in The Way of Animal Powers?"

25/5/06 09:37  
Anonymous robotmonkey7 said...

A couple of birds "chose" our front deck as a place to build a next last year. They would dive-bomb us as we'd try to enter our house, so we had to use the garage entry for weeks. And the poop on that deck...good Lord.

So this year, when another little bird family started checking out our deck, I made it very clear to them that they were not welcome. (It was nothing cruel or life-threatening ... more of a college fraternity hazing-type incident.)

25/5/06 11:21  
Blogger Jere said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

25/5/06 11:22  
Anonymous AO said...

That's great! It will be like having your own private soap opera.

This spring, a pair of house finches decided to build their nest on our house (inside a rolled-up blind hanging under the eve outside our back door). Stupid birds. Stupid place to put a nest. Did they know about the noise and light at night? The constant coming and going of their neighbors? But I guess it didn't bother them. They laid five eggs, which all hatched. The runt of the brood, who probably never had a thing to eat, got pushed out one evening last week. We saw him hobbling around on the ground, and he was gone the next morning (owl food, probably). A few days later, two of the fledglings flew away, and a few days after that the last two. Then we took down the nest for our friend who likes to collect old poopy nests. The other day, the mom and dad started building a new nest in its place. Stupid birds.

25/5/06 11:23  
Blogger Saint Kansas said...

Glad I'm not alone on the poop issue. Bird poop is lethal. You know that scene in Alien where the facehugger's blood eats through several floors of the spaceship?

That's nothing compared to bird poop.

25/5/06 11:51  
Anonymous normzone said...

If your man is crafty, he may be able to rig up some Norman technology. Open the window, place a plywood barrier next to the nest and a fan in the opening not filled by the plywood.

Of course, I'm in So Cal, and for all I know it alternates snow and sun in your fair city, which means he'd need to fabricate a panel you could close off the fan with.

Ah, if I were your man...your home would be filled with plywood and zipties.

wpnxwnkk - the sound that a ziptie makes when you pull it tight.

25/5/06 15:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this year we have a dove nest in our tree in the back yard. no problem. however, in prior years they (and other birds) tried building a nest in the eves above our front door! At the first site of the nest in very early stage (no bird in it yet), I placed moth balls throughout the eves. The birds moved and have been nesting elsewhere since. You may need to replace mothballs occasionally throughout the spring. I read someplace that moth balls don't harm the birds, but do repel them and it sure worked for me.

8/4/07 12:12  
Anonymous SarahJo said...

Hmmm, and Here I am seraching the web for info about doves - beacuse one has nested in my patio hanging plant!

Not too excitedabout the maternal totem for me, althought I can say, my mom will be thrilled...

23/4/07 15:26  
Anonymous julie west said...

Thank you so much for your post about the dove. I also have a dove sitting on 2 eggs in my greenhouse which has a broken window she flew in. She made her nest on the broken bottoem of an earthenware bowl I had created and I take it as a special gift from her and the Great Creator that she would share
this with me. She is calm enough to let me take her some sesame seeds. I feel indeed blessed.

25/4/07 17:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a sweet story, thanks for sharing it with all us other maternal totem recipients. All I really wanted to know was how long until I can use my patio again... you guessed it... but now that I'm reminded that her presence is a true gift ... I guess I can wait.
--- peace from the sonoran desert ---

27/4/07 15:03  
Blogger Fergie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25/5/07 22:33  
Blogger Fergie said...


I saw that someone else stumbled on your blog entry about having a dove nest in their hanging plant, and -- lo, and behold, that is exactly what happened to us here in Northern California this month.

I have a picture on my blog:



- ferg

25/5/07 22:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year, the eggs didn't hatch.
This year, they hatched, grew and flew.... and the parental pair is on set two!

15/3/08 04:01  

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