What The Turtledoves Taught Me

A few days ago, I woke up feeling a little out of sorts. I was concerned about a few things that weren’t quite going as well as I wanted them to . . . feeling a bit of nagging doubt or worry here and there. Not a crisis. Not a meltdown. Not a panic attack. Just . . .not at the top of my game.

I took my coffee out onto the patio. It was a cool, sunny, slightly breezy Colorado morning. I sat down and as I took a sip of my coffee I spotted what looked like two small turtledoves perched up on top of the fence around the patio. They were just sitting there side by side. I couldn’t tell if they were mates or parent and child or just best buddies. They would occasionally nudge or peck at each other gently, but for the most part, they didn’t move. They just sat as close to each other as they could get, looking around for at least a half hour or more.

Something about that image was so soothing to me, so calming and reassuring. It almost felt silly how moved I was by the picture of those two birds sitting there, seemingly so content to enjoy their view—and each other’s company. Even my moving around—stepping back inside to get my camera and coming back out to snap a few pictures of them—was of no consequence to them. When I finally went back inside, they were still there. But I was feeling so much better than before I saw them.

I like birds as much as the next person, but rarely do they capture my interest to quite that degree. So I asked The Shower Team about the birds, and why they got to me . . .

If you had any idea how many of those kinds of moments you miss that are continually moving in and out of your experience, it would truly astound you. What you witnessed and were responding to was, very simply, the ever-present, abundant evidence of the well being that abounds.

The animals of your planet, be they wild or domesticated, are true ambassadors of this well being for they, unlike you, do not resist, for the most part, the allowing of that well being. They know with every fiber of their being that all is well. They never question it. They never worry about it. They never get upset about whether it will continue or whether it will all come crashing down around them. They simply allow it to be.

By doing so, they offer to you a constant reminder of just how well it is all being. In the midst of whatever worries you are holding close to you, in the middle of all your concerns about all the things not working or not going well or all your fears about all the horrible fates that await you and your world . . . the beasts . . . the birds . . . sit there in perfect ease . . . perfect satisfaction . . . wanting for nothing . . . fearing nothing. They weren’t even worried about that fat Siamese cat that was eyeing them from afar as they perched on top of your fence.

Moreover, they understand how little there is to be gained by struggle or by striving. They follow their natural impulses and the natural rhythm of their existence. They go with the flow of who and what they are and the unspeakably perfect order that they are part of.

Even though the animals that you tame and keep close to you as pets manage to absorb only a minimum of your negativity. Even they understand on some level that often eludes you, just how good it all really is. That’s why we so often encourage you, in the midst of whatever worry you’re focused upon, to pet your cat or play with your dog. It isn’t just distraction . . . it’s reconnection with Source . . . it’s the opportunity for you to remember well being . . . it’s a chance for you to experience peace and joy by association.

They never wander from it, except to notice how upset you are. They eat, they sleep, they play, they take care of themselves (even though you convince yourselves that they need you). And anytime you stop to pay attention, they teach you what an indescribably, poignantly, perfectly wonderful world you are part of.


I don’t currently have a dog or a cat. I miss that comfort and companionship sometimes. But the turtledoves made a believer out of me, if only for those few minutes that I sat there watching them pressing together, unperturbed, unmoved by any disturbance or even by my intrusive presence.

As I watched them looking out contentedly at their perfect world, my own world felt a little closer to perfect. And that was worth every minute I spent sitting there with them, feeling at peace with where I was, and for those few moments, feeling oh so complete.

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About Dan

Published novelist, poety, essayist, photographer and college educator. Visit me at www.firstadream.com.

Posted on July 27, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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