I’m not fond of New Year’s Eve from a celebratory standpoint. I never really was, even when I could stay awake past 10:00 p.m.. I think it’s because I have always rebelled against the clock as supreme ruler of my day, my week, my year, my entire life…I just don’t like being told what time I HAVE to do something or BE something, never have. This aversion comes with a specific set of challenges that only the chronically tardy can relate to..work schedules and mass transportation immediately come to mind, but the more abstract, and in my opinion, more difficult, time- related obstacles, like…how does a Fifty year old woman dress or act..stuff like that..makes me hate that sadistic, Type “A” cave dweller who figured out it was “time” to do something. I was soaking in a hot tub of lavender bath salts when the ball dropped, because wouldn’t you know it, I lost track of time, and shouted my “Happy New Year!!” through the door to my loved ones. Anyway..you get it..the par-tay isn’t here.
What I am fond of is New Year’s Day, however. A paid holiday. A day I dedicate to PJ’s and the afterglow of the holidays that I treasure more than the actual holiday. My beautiful Christmas tree lit, providing me peace and beauty, not the reminder that I need to finish my shopping. Those days are behind me now..it’s all downhill to St. Patty’s Day.
I slept in late, awakened by the licks of two Labs who were fully three hours past their usual breakfast and morning constitutional time -bless them..they are flexible with the clock, probably why we get along so well- and I left a snoring Joe to attend to all things dog.
That’s right about when the Holy Spirit showed up.
I should explain.
After I let the dogs outside I saw them run urgently to something flopping around in the yard. A dove. A wounded dove. It was cold, and I wasn’t dressed, but I ran to the scene, shouting “No,no,no!!” Oh, the poor dove..it’s wing was broken, and with two hundred plus pounds of Lab up it’s rear, it lamely hopped away, and all I could see was my Black Lab, three hours past breakfast ,dining on his first dove breast..his prey drive has taken us by surprise in the past..I wish I could erase the memory of my perfect, gentle boy chomping into the baby bunny..sigh.
Not on my watch, not today. I raced back to my bedroom and shouted Joe awake..”I NEED HELP!” (note to self for future emergencies..very efficient way to get him up..no questions asked, he looked like a young fire cadet in training , dressed in less than 3 seconds, slid down the pole, and was in the yard with me in less than 5 seconds). We stood in the yard, where the lame dove had been pitifully struggling…had. She was gone. In the quiet of the morning, I heard the gentle “coos” of the doves calling to each other, as they most always have a mate. Impossible, this recovery…I couldn’t imagine how the dove took flight…even the dogs look confused as I inspected their snouts for feathers.
We went back into the house and brewed coffee while I retold the tale of the injured dove to a skeptical Joe. Suddenly, while sipping and chatting, Joe exclaimed, “a bird!” Probably not a huge deal for most everyone, but we have had a birdhouse, made from a beer can, (I know, classy.. Natty Boh and O’s Hon.it’s a local thing) hanging outside our door for a year ,and neither of us have ever seen a bird in it…we just figured even the birds have more taste than us.
What was with the birds today, I pondered..then I remembered that last New Year’s Day I had an encounter with Prince, a white deer, who became a source of spiritual strength for me..he died shortly afterwards, taking a little bit of that strength with him, I think. Today, I think the dove returned some of that.
In Christianity, the dove is considered a symbol of the Holy Spirit, whose visit brings a message of hope. The Bible tells us that when Noah released his dove to search for land and the bird returned with the olive leaf, mankind was saved. It is also believed that a visit from a dove is a message to go within and release emotional disharmony. I like that the injured dove led me to a theme of hope today, of all days. I want be full of it, all year long, yes I do.