A few years back we had the opportunity to observe a dove making a nest on one of our speakers in our back yard. The speaker hung in the corner of the house just below the eve and next to the window.
This bird worked diligently weaving a nest with twigs and pieces of yarn. She made a hardy nest that to our surprise would be the nest she would lay eggs in for the next three years. She began to lay eggs and when it was time for her to eat, her mate would come and sit on the eggs so that the momma bird good go out and stretch her wings.
I began doing some research on the bird and found out that it was a white dove. they were quite pretty. Their eyes were lined with a deep blue. The research if found revealed many amazing facts about this particular bird species.
It seems that when a dove looks for a mate, they look for features much like you and I would look for. They look for a mate that would spend life with them. They keep the mate for their entire bird life. They look for qualities in each other that would reflect putting the children first and them doing what ever at any cost to keep the eggs safe until the time would come for the eggs to hatch. The eggs were always watched over wether it be by the male or female. But the most amazing things were going to be revealed to us as the time came for the birds to leave the nest.
As the birds took turns sitting on the eggs, they became very familiar with our family. Our pool was just a few feet from the nest and the birds would watch my children as they and their friends would play and swim. Every once in a while, we would drag a chair over to look at the bird and we could get close enough to glance into the nest to see if the babies had hatched. The bird sitting on the nest, wether it was mom or dad would patiently let us gaze at the nest and eggs in amazement.
As the eggs developed and the time came for the eggs to hatch, one by one the naked babies would take their first glances at the world. The parents would take turns feeding the birdies. The babies were never left alone and they always let us share glances at their family life. It was beautiful.
For the next two weeks the birds would grow and their feathers would come in and they would begin to take on the resemblance’s of their moms and dads. The house that the momma bird made for them became quite cramped at the birds grew. There were three babies and that mom or dad at a given time.
I could relate to the mom as her days were quite frantic tending to the needs of her children. They were relentless wanting food and they really needed to have the opportunity play outside.
As the plumage on their wings came in and they were nearing the opportunity to take first flight, Momma bird would perch herself on our pool fence as Daddy bird took the bird one by one out teaching them to fly. They never went far from the nest. But just enough so that mom would not loose sight and she could watch both the nest and her “toddler” with its father. Dad would also take this opportunity to teach the bird how to look for worms and grub in the grass and dirt under the bushes. This whole process would go on for three days until each of the fledglings where ready to leave the nest on their own.
When that time came, father would see each of the birds out of the nest and the babies would choose that day to leave for ever. The proud parents would always share an evening together and they would mate again repeating the cycle of laying eggs not twice but sometimes up to six times a summer.
We learned a lot that summer and for the summers to come from that family as they would work together first as husband and wife then as a family. I always wondered would they felt, if anything when there babies left the nest. It was three years later that may first born went off to college.
I always wondered how that bird family dealt with their children leaving the nest over and over. It took me almost a half a year for me to come to terms that my daughter had to grow up and go off to college. She will be coming home for the summer and then, I am going to have to see her off again. I imagine the tears will fall over and over but over time, it will get easier. I have to endure the pain next year as my middle child leaves the nest. Many of my friends are going through that this year. To them I would like to offer hope that the pain does go away with time.
I am forever grateful for that experience that God gave me and our family. It was really a life lesson for us being lived out through the life cycle of a dove. God never ceases to amaze me in the way he teaches us and reached the very depths of our hearts. It is something I will never forget about. It truly made an impact on us and now, I hope it will do the same for you.