As quickly as she came into my life, she was gone.
Yesterday morning, I checked on my sweet little dove. She was sitting quietly in her nest in the Carolina jasmine, just the same as ever.
Although she did not seem thrilled to see me, she did not glare at me either. I suspect that is only because the dove lacks the ability to glare or cast disparaging looks. With no eyebrows, the dove is stuck with an all purpose blank expression, a lot like Jessica Simpson. Otherwise, upon the sight of me, she probably would would have narrowed her eyes and curled her lips. If she had lips. Another problem. It’s also probably good that doves can’t make gestures. The symbol of peace indeed.
So early this afternoon, I went outside to get the mail and I couldn’t stop myself from toddling up the driveway to check on her again. I was surprised to find that her nest was empty! Very surprised. No dove, no eggs, no feathers. Nothing. No Tom, not even a note.
I assumed that when the eggs hatched that she would hang around until she saw her young out of the nest and then she would fly off into the sunset, but not before perching on my kitchen window ledge, tapping on the glass with her delicate slender beak and then casting me a knowing and grateful look for all I had done for her. I would dab a tear from my eye with a dish towel and wave her off. “Go on you crazy bird,” I would say, “Get out of here! Go see the world!” And then she would spread her wings to fly, but pause one last time, wink her round black eye at me and then be off. I would rush to the window and wave as she melted into the sky and became a dot in the distance.
Or something like that.
When I told Sean that the dove was gone, he said he thought it was my fault, that she had left because I had disturbed her.
Perhaps so. I was a terrible landlord, I know that – nosy and overly interested. I was Mrs. Roper, not in a caftan, but in a frighteningly sad pink chenille robe.
For more than a week she had put up with cold rain, hail and high winds. But it was me dropping in on her and asking all kinds of personal questions that sent her over the edge. She just couldn’t take another day. Perhaps it all became too much and she threw herself in front of a cat. We will never know.
And now (dramatic pause, dropping chin to chest) I must mourn my mourning dove.
No, really. I’ll be fine. (sniff sniff) Carry on.