I have always loved animals. My Mom used to frequently dream that I brought home a stray elephant I had found. Throughout the years I have adopted numerous stray dogs and even a few barn cats. For me, animals bring so much joy into my life that I can't imagine being without them.
They can sense so many of our emotions and give us unconditional love. I believe one can find so much symbolism in the way they behave and often times parallels between their life and ours can be drawn. I want to share with you one such true story.
Quite a few years back an injured dove showed up at our house. I don't know if he had been shot or hit by a car, but his breast was completely sliced open. I first noticed him while I was throwing scratch (cracked corn) on the ground for my chickens. He was trying desperately to steal some but the chickens kept chasing him away and it was obvious that he could not fly. I threw him some scratch off to the side so he could eat. For the first week he ate alone, away from the chickens and away from me. Every morning he would appear for his share of some scratch and it wasn't long before my chickens began to accept him and he blended right in. Over time his breast began to heal and he could fly a little bit at a time; not very long and not very high but to me it was fantastic improvement. During his healing he learned that I was not a threat and he had no fear of me. When eventually he could fly good as new he never left our place. He would always be waiting for me when I went out to feed in the morning and often when I would leave for work he would ride the bed rails of my truck until I pulled out of the driveway. He would then fly up to rest on the power lines. Often he would be waiting on those same lines when I got home. As I pulled into the driveway he would swoop down and ride the truck to it's parking place. In the evenings, as TJ and I sat on the patio discussing our day and planning the next he would happily perch nearby. He eventually found a mate and they built their nest on our patio right outside the back door. While TJ wasn't happy with the mess they were creating, I convinced him to please let them be. They raised not just one but two families right on our patio.
When I moved from that house after TJ died there was no way for me to bring him with me so I was forced to leave him behind and it broke my heart. I can still vividly remember the last time I pulled out of that driveway and he was on the bed rails of my truck. When he flew off just as I pulled into the street I stuck my hand out the window and waved goodbye.
I was leaving my old life behind to begin my own healing process. I was beginning my own journey to learn how to spread my wings and fly again. Small short flights at first, as the pain held me back. But with time and nourishment much longer and higher flights. I am not yet soaring above the power lines, but I will.