Over the years our family has had a number of unusual pets. We have enjoyed the company of a newt named Sen. Gingrich, a painted turtle named Sampson, a snapping turtle named Chomper, a crow named Simone, a ferret named Homer, a skunk named Pepe and ring necked doves by the names of Henricoo, Cooruso and Diva. Each of these wonderful critters taught me a great deal. Let me share a dove story.
Henricoo was a lonely dove we purchased at a pet store. She was great company but she appeared to need a mate. We were able to acquire Cooruso. For a long time they lived happily, sheltered in an outside coop except for the winter where they moved into smaller quarters inside. One sad day Henricoo died. She was much older than Cooruso and it appeared the widowed male had many good years left. So we searched high and low finally acquiring Diva. Some years passed and Cooruso also died. Diva was alone; or so we thought.
As it happened, a man living on the edge of town raised doves. Often these birds would fly from their coop to feed on seed and treats near Diva’s coop. Diva had never known freedom or what it was to be part of a covey. After mush conversation, we decided to open her coop door and offer her freedom. It took a while but Diva flew the coop. She spent about three hours atop a 75 foot evergreen tree. Then she took off. I doubted we would ever see her again.
The very next afternoon, I was watering the garden. I felt a light brush on top of my head. Looking up I saw Diva. She circled my head three times, each time touching me with the tip of a wing. It was a moment of grace.
During this season of Lent, I find myself thinking of Diva and all those mysterious grace filled moments in my life that I cannot begin to explain. Relationships are sacred. All of God’s creation has purpose in its relationship with all things. May God bless your relationships.