Dove on Fire Escape
by Linda Marks Katz
(New York City)
Dove on Fire Escape
We are city dwellers. . . N.Y.C. that is. That means, we must go to the nearest park to find nature.
But something wonderful has happened. Nature came to us! I was away on a sisterhood relaxation weekend and came back to find a dove nesting on our fire escape.
The loosely packed nest and exquisite color of the bird caught my eye. I stared in amazement and a surge of maternal protectiveness swelled within. In an instant, I made a sign that read, "Caution! Dove Nesting," so that onlookers who entered the room would approach with care.
She is beautiful. The graceful lines of her body looks as though she had alighted from a Bernini statue and onto our fire escape. And I wondered why she came to us.
Did she know how badly I need nature in my life, or was she telling us that she was a symbol of the peace that was about to shroud our family and our world. I was moved to (internal) tears by her presence, as if somehow she knew what I needed most at this point in my life.
"She looks bored" my husband said. Waiting for the most precious gift of my life, the birth of my daughter..... felt endless too, when all I wanted was for her to pop out, look me in the eyes and say "Hi Mom, I'm Laura." I waited 9 long months to finally meet her and I wondered if this bird felt the same.
Somehow, she looked too perky and slender to be a mother. . . . too composed and confident. When evening came, she looked like she had drastically fallen into ill health. She suddenly looked heavier, and very tired, a bird who had flown for many miles.
I tried not to approach the window too often, but couldn't get over the sudden change. Fortunately, I read on this website, that males protect the egg(s) by day and the mother by night. Knowing there was a changing of the guard was reassuring.
Last year when a red tailed hawk roosted in Riverside Park, many residents visited the nest each day, and for many weeks. Some stayed for hours, watching with telescopes and binoculars, in order to catch a glimpse of red tailed hawk family life.. And what did the birds see when they looked down at us? Humans, creating nests out of blankets, parents feeding their young, and the young taking short solo flights away from the nest accompanied by squawks from the parents.
I named the dove Eve. I hope she is happy on our fire escape and makes it her new home.