The teakettle shrieks as the water boils and I pull it off the stovetop to make tea. Glancing out the window again I see a small flock of white doves. They land in and near the birdbath, the largest in the flock staying in the bowl. I watch them wander in the mud and realize this flock is the first of the doves to return after the ice storm.
When I’d first bought this house there were several flocks which came down every morning and afternoon. There was a single large white dove among all the gentle cinnamon doves. This one always stood out and was alone. In our home we had a theory perhaps it had lost it’s mate.
A few years ago I noticed this dove seemed to have disappeared, then one day it showed up with the flock and had a new mate making the flock have an even number. Today this small flock had several of the mixed white doves and it gave my heart a small leap of joy. The lonely large white dove finally had a family again.
There are times I think I have been that dove, alone in the flock driving the others away from me in my grieving. So lost in myself, inside my head, still with my ‘flock’ but always on the outer edges. Then joy came back and my family thrives on my joy, my happiness as I’ve finally moved through the grieving.
It is with understanding now I see how patient my family was with me all these years and especially the last two and a half. Even though I was so very lost, they believed in my ability to heal, believed in the strength of my spirit. This weekend I participated in a private live streamed art journaling project for vision boards. There is a small plaque I created in the middle. I think I could’Ve only had this on my board, without the additional positive pictures, words, and photos. Because that phrase embodies everything for me.
NEVER GIVE UP
(Also published on USFRA.org)