When I was a toddler, my Dad was raising mourning doves up on the hill behind our house in a little cinder block building with chicken wire over the open windows. We called it the dove cage. Dad would come in from tending the doves and play with us kids, hug on us, tickle us and such. Little did we know at the time that this was causing me to have trouble breathing.
At 2 years old, I almost died from asthma. It took them a while to determine that I was allergic to birds. Dad released the doves into the woods on the hill, so that they could still be near but he would no longer be the one to care for them.
Over the years, we would always hearing their cooing as they resided in the trees around our home. It was a comforting sound and one that became associated with the memories of home.
When my husband, kids, and I moved into our home 12 years ago, we realized we had doves who would perch on our chimney and the electric wire in front of our house. The cooing was such a welcome sound and a reminder of my Dad, who passed away when I was 20. Now, every year when they return from the winter, my heart is warmed by their sweet sounds and I am always drawn back in my memory to my childhood. I get a sense of my Dad’s presence, though he’s been in Heaven for 26 years.
Even more comforting is the reminder of God’s Spirit, His presence in my life. I would be lost without Him living within my heart, without His guidance and comfort. How thankful I am for these tangible reminders of both my Earthly and my Heavenly Father.