Every spring a dove makes its nest in a planter on our front porch.
The location is excellent for a nest because our house faces east and the front is sheltered from the brutal westerly spring storms. Our porch is also covered which keeps the dove dry and relatively sheltered from any strong winds. The planter she chose hangs on a brick wall about five feet above the porch making it inaccessible to dangerous predators.
Each year we watch as the dove makes her nest, lays a minimum of two eggs and then we await the birth of her babies. In the wee hours of the morning we can catch her feeding her young, but she’s quick to stop and cover them protectively if she gets a glimpse of us watching her. She also gently covers their tiny bodies to shield them when we go in and out the front door.
A few weeks after the birth, the young birds emerge during the day, stretching their feathers in preparation to fly away. Then as quickly as she nestled in to our front porch, her babies fly away. She soon follows.
Our little brood this year took flight yesterday morning. I missed the big event but noticed after returning from my morning workout that they had left.
I couldn’t help but think how ironic it was for them to leave just prior to Mother’s Day weekend because this dove represents what mothers are all about. She prepared a strong, sturdy, comfortable home for her young, gave birth to them, fed and protected them in their youth, taught them to fly and then stood by and assisted them as she sent them off into the world.
As I looked out on the porch this morning, I saw a dove stop for a moment on the planter. I’m not sure if that’s the mother checking back at home to ensure that her little ones hadn’t returned for more guidance or if that’s another dove preparing for its babies.
Either way, I’m happy to share our porch in one of God’s little creature’s circle of life.