Life in the Gutter

For weeks I took the stairs softly, mindful that a Mourning Dove couple had seen my stairwell’s sheltered gutter as prime nesting real estate.  In amazement I watched the changing of the doves, ensuring that eggs and nestlings always had cover.  In awe I witnessed the chicks’ persistent pecking of the adult beak, and watched it then open and regurgitate dove deliciousness into the gaping baby’s mouth.  The clamoring feathered chicks seemed oblivious to the nest height as they teetered on the gutter edge afterward.

Today’s gutter is empty, the feathered bundles of Mourning Dove fluff are out in the big beyond.  I hear the soft oo oo oo, echoed by a softer, higher, tentative, oo  oo oo.  Parent and child, carefully keeping tabs on one another.  It is a beautiful duet, plaintive, hopeful, loving.

I am here.  Yes, I am here, too.

That duet is one I repeat with my newly fledged adults.  Wee text messages, brief Facebook messages, short emails, even shorter phone calls.

I am here.  Yes, I am here, too.

By Kay Strickland

I am a keeper of my family's lore, chasing after my ancestors' tales in south central New York, southwestern Pennsylvania and Southside Virginia. The stories and photographs that I share on this blog are my intellectual property. While I do my very best to provide well researched posts, I do not pretend to have reached genealogical proof standards. Therefore, much of this work is to generate conversation among interested parties. If you would like to share my work or my records, please contact me: dkaysdays (at) gmail (dot) com.

2 replies on “Life in the Gutter”

Love the sentiment and the photo is beautiful!!! Mourning doves are one of my favorites. They remind me of childhood and safety and summer humidity and home. Thanks for that moment Kay. And I echo Leslie’s response: ooo ooo to you too! :}

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