There is a small maple tree about 40 feet from my office window. When the cold weather comes, so do the doves. They perch on branches about twenty feet above the ground, sitting two-by-two as if huddling to keep warm. I enjoy watching them.
We also have a single male cardinal again this year. He lost his life-mate last winter, as I recall, and will probably not find (or seek) another. The state bird is a wonderful eye-catcher against the drab gray background of late winter.
We have other birds here year-round, and they are lovley to see in any weather, but it is the doves that seem to project warmth and love at a time of year when warmth is not projected across nature’s big screen. Watching doves warming themselves warms me, as well.
Living in a remote and semi-wild environment is a school of understanding. Life is going on all around us, whether we are watching, or not. In the bigger world, the one far beyond my window, there are people who would substitute hate for love; provide targets for others to focus on; avoid dealing with the real problems living on a small planet brings. I don’t know what the answer is, or even if there is an answer, but I know what I have learned, watching the doves.
I have learned that we are warmer, more comfortable, less likely to fall when we sit down together. We, all of us, perch precariously on whatever branch we choose for our resting place because there are no certainties. We grab on to life, grip hard, hold on tight regardless of wind or snow, rain or shine. We are at our best when we find our place in the sun.
This time of year I recall a poem I learned as a child. It is not the greatest, perhaps, not the most artful of poems, but now and then it speaks to me. It is "The Rainbow," by William Wordsworth. Do you know it?
"My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So it was when my life began;
So it is now I’m a Man;
So be it when I grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is Father to the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety."
Say "hello" to Spring.