I live in hot, dry Southern Arizona where cactus and other succulents thrive. They, of course, have their own type of beauty, but they tend to stick and prick and people say that the Teddy Bear Cholla will reach out and grab you!
When we moved to a new apartment in January, there was a huge group of what I think are spiky green yucca plants to the left of the walkway. Many of the spikes were yellowed or brown , it was hard to see the individual plants and one of them had grown into the pathway to the door and regularly stuck us. I asked if it could be trimmed back and was told a few weeks later that they planned, instead, to move the plant in order to save it’s beautiful, balanced shape. ‘Perfect,’ I thought.
Last Thursday morning landscapers came, dug out its rootball to move it and trimmed back what I know now were only two other plants. “Yay,” I said and thanked them profusely. It looks awesome–no dead stuff before our front door and window (bad Feng Shui)–and nothing to stick us when we walk by.
Thursday afternoon I saw a bunch of twigs and some larger, dried leaves on our front door step. ‘Hunh,’ I thought. ‘I guess the wind blew them in.’
By Friday morning, there was a good-sized collection of twigs and though I did note that they were very similar in size, I didn’t yet understand. I picked them up and put them on the dirt near the plants. Two Mourning Doves came off the roof and flapped their wings very near my head.
The light bulb goes off. ‘Ohhh, these are twigs to build a bird’s nest.’ I looked in the direction they had flown and said, “You know, you can’t build a nest on our front door step. It’s not safe here.” Saturday morning the twigs were back with even more of them. I sent my ‘unsafe place’ thought again and put the twigs back on the dirt.
Later, I’m inside working on a collage when it comes to me: They had a nest in those bushes, probably in some of the dried and dead spikes that were removed–and they want me to know it. They wanted me to know that what I was celebrating had hurt them. I went outside later and sent them my sincere apology. I explained that I hadn’t known their nest was there and that I now understand that what represented dead energy to me can make a good home for critters. (Mother Nature always knows best, always uses everything for something and always makes new life from what has died.)
The Mourning Doves stopped moving twigs onto the door step as soon as I understood.
About the dove as a totem, from ANIMAL SPEAK by Ted Andrews, “The dove is a ground feeder, reflective of keeping contact with Mother Earth and the creative possibilities of the feminine energies on earth. The brood of the dove consists of two eggs. Two is the traditional number for the feminine and creative energies. The voice of the dove is the rain song. Out of its mourning, it invokes new waters of life. It reminds us that no matter what our our life conditions, new waters and new life are possible.”
God bless your next brood, my friends.