A while ago a friend gave me this little piece of garden statuary to hang somewhere outside in the garden, one dove feeding another. This morning seemed a good time to find a spot. It now hangs on the back fence where I can easily catch a glance. I turned and walked over to my coffee cup on the back stoop… a tiny perfect feather had appeared on the bottom step. Out of the many birds that come to my feeder, I love the mourning doves best, I think. Peculiar creatures. Beautiful symbols of peace, yet they squabble over that seed and push each other around with a peck and a shove. Then they sit quietly together, a dule of doves, like an elegant and still formation of feathered grey stones. Maybe they are not so different from us in their conflicted faces.
Ten years ago, after shock and horror overwhelmed the days of so many here in my part of the world, something else happened, too. Something I will also never forget. Millions around the world stood up and refused, refused to give up on the good will of their neighbors and themselves, and shared their resources, their abilities, their prayers, and their grief with so many impacted by the tragedy. They rejected the dark hopelessness of terror and worked hard to begin to restore the light. And yet somehow in these ten years, we have lost our way. We have become discouraged, often tired, frustrated. What’s happened to us? Will we ever find our way back to that place of hopeful good will? And why oh why can we somehow only find our best selves in the face of such a cataclysmic event? So although we may squabble and peck, push and shove, we must do better. We must and we can. Perhaps that effort, in any small way, is the way to honor those who have lost so much. I think
it is the least we can do.