Time to communicate

9th January 2023

Many other birds come and go through the year but there is seldom a day when I don’t see doves. They mostly perch in a rather dilapidated tree that we call the “waiting room”, because that’s where birds often congregate before the seed trays are filled.

When I looked them up, the information suggested that mourning doves are also called turtle doves but I think this is not accurate.

Typing in “turtle dove”, I summoned images of a quite different bird and one that is highly endangered, unlike the dove we have here in North America.

The above is a European bird that migrates in winter to sub-Saharan Africa. To my knowledge I have never seen one.

The first time I became really aware of doves was when I used to visit my parents home in Barbados.

For some reason their constant cooing annoyed my mother but this was just one more thing I never discussed with her, so I don’t know what caused her to so dislike the sound.


Perhaps my mum was superstitious. We never talked of such things. It’s actually hard to remember precisely what we did talk about.

If I had realised at the age of 11, when I went to boarding school, how little time I would ever get to spend with my mother from then on, I think my heart would have broken.

It was Mum’s sister Kay that I became close to in the way most children are supposed to be with their mother. There was nothing I didn’t talk about with my aunt. I adored my mother but I really did not know her nor she, me.

After we went to SE Asia, leaving my brother behind, unsurprisingly, everything changed for all of us.

For one thing, everyone’s perception of me was coloured by the assumption that I was a spoiled child, living a luxurious, carefree life.

This was confirmed to me when I belatedly had a long talk with the last remaining relative who remembered those times.

How many assumptions do we make, all the time? How much better life might be if we could learn to communicate?

Withholding information to avoid upsetting someone, or because we want to avoid controversy is not intentionally deceitful.

All too often, I think it is simply a lack of time.

Serious conversations cannot be fit into the small parcels of time which human beings seem to navigate, in this increasingly fast-paced world.

Such a conversation, cut short, is likely to cause real misunderstanding with resulting hard feelings that can so easily snowball into a total breakdown of communication.

Now, of course, we often communicate online and I would hardly call that a success.

When we wrote letters, how often did we place them immediately in the mail? If we dashed off a missive in a state of emotion, generally we could tear it up and start over once in a better state of mind.

Email is far too immediate.

And for that matter it is not secure.

Yet people constantly entrust damning information to cyberspace.

Strangely, this has turned into one of those rare days when there is not a dove to be seen. And there is but a handful of sparrows in the hedge beyond my window.

Even the squirrels are taking a day off.

It is a rather raw day, grey with snow turning to rain.

Brain demanded a soft, gentle topic which is what brought me to these images of doves.

Symbols of illusive PEACE.

6 thoughts on “Time to communicate

  1. Doves, and pigeons, always seem a comfy bird to me. They are happy in their being, comfortable as a puffed up ball of feathers. They do, however, like to squabble and will expend more energy in chasing each other off a food source than they gain in eating it. The males also seem very amorous no matter what time of year it is!

  2. We have a pair of ring-necked doves that come to the garden regularly. They are a very pale grey colour, and much smaller than the Wood Pigeons. They are also easily scared, and will fly off when other birds land.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Beautiful doves. We also have a few of them visiting the seed tray in our garden every day (they are more grey than the brown ones in your photos). Although they are bigger than most birds in our garden, they always give the smaller ones a chance before they eat themselves (but ironically, then they don’t give each other space). On the topic of communication: We don’t have a TV in our house, which means we communicate quite a lot! And we go for walks and long drives – more opportunities to communicate 😉.

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