Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bye Bye Birdie

I came home from work a few months ago, a bit bleary-eyed and mind-fried. As I was walking up to my front door, which was dark in shadow due to the setting sun, a panicked bird of some sort flew out into my face and just scared the mess out of me. I had to sit down right then and there to collect myself and stem the near heart attack that the foul creature had brought about in me.

The next morning I discovered that a dove had built her nest in a sheltered portion of the rain gutter under the eave next to my door. Over the next few weeks we slowly came to terms with each other and developed a bit of trust. I learned to open the door slowly and quietly when I was leaving and to approach with care upon my return home. My bird guest went from flapping away wildly whenever it sensed me, to warily readying herself for flight, to contented acceptance of my presence.

Apart from occasionally resettling herself in her nest to keep her eggs warm and protected, she sat like a determined sentinel in her place. Day in, day out. Always there and following her protective instinct to the letter. It really was quite amazing and beautiful. About a month or so after she moved in, I came to expect the sound of the chirps and squawks of her new brood. A reward for her diligence and patience. The other day though, I came home and my bird friend was gone. Her nest and eggs abandoned. Clearly something had gone wrong and she sensed it and moved on. I suspect that there is a powerful lesson here. I wish her well and will miss her trill outside my door.