Sunday, August 6, 2023

The mourning dove nest on the back porch

is a whirl of activity. For a few weeks now the mother and father doves have been trading places, parking it over their eggs, and then, their hatched babies, glaring at us whenever we open the door. I've been hurrying the dog along, ducking my head, careful not to make any sudden moves, but yesterday, was apparently the big day,

birds peeking out from the nest, feet on the ledge, ready to tip over at any moment, the cooing parents below on the porch steps, keeping watch, anxiously, I imagined. Which was a problem, because my husband was in the middle of a complicated concrete project at the bottom of the steps. 

I asked him to go around from the front into the backyard and he is the type of man who will do that and I love him for it. Also, he said he would work quietly and avoid the sudden movements and I love him for that too. I have written 658 blogposts over the past decade and very few of them are about him. Each week 

it's a puzzle what I want to write about in this space, the weird things swirling around in my head, whatever is going on in my very small world or in the larger one. Where the oceans are boiling and a scientist recently grew watermelons in Antarctica. What can we do about this, a friend asks me. 

I don't know.

Friday my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. Oh my God how absurdly young we were on our wedding day and with no idea of the future, our own small world or the larger one. Moments before I walked down the aisle, I panicked. The heat outside and the lack of air conditioning in the church, and I worried I might pass out. 

Someone who meant well dumped a bowl of holy water down the front of my dress, and I was shocked back into my battle-scarred body, the cold water dripping dripping dripping as I teetered up the aisle, too young to understand yet how lucky I was to leave what I was leaving behind, 

and it would be years before I realized how lucky I am to have found the person I was teetering toward. He finished the concrete project and came inside to watch where I was watching from the window. The mourning dove babies taking their time before suddenly fluttering down,

the new family gathering on the flat stones in the herb garden, cooing at each other, I imagine, with relief and love. 

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