Monday, June 28, 2010


Things were not going well.

Migraines, mud, misunderstandings and mishaps, poor hay-making weather, projects piling up; they were all getting me down.  I worked non-stop, it seemed, and tried to keep a positive attitude... but it felt as if I would never get caught up, never feel better, as if I were caught in a really bad day that kept repeating.

One day, while ruminating on all that... stuff... I walked into our machine shed while looking for some nails to repair a fence.  Again.  In doing so, I was startled by flapping wings as a white bird flew up right before me.  When my breath came back, I could not help but look in amazement at the creature which had shown up in my grungy old shop:  a pure white dove.

At first I thought it probably an albino barn pigeon... an oddity, but somehow more likely.  We have a few pigeons that hang around, eating spilled grain, creating a mess of feathers and excrement in the storage shed.  But this was no common pigeon... she was beautiful.  Pure white, docile... I could get within a few feet of her, and her calm demeanor was somehow so peaceful.  Regal.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed she wore a leg band, and realized she was a domestic dove.  Most likely she was released at a wedding or some such event, and for whatever reason ended up on my farm.  I wondered about how to go about capturing her and returning her to her owner, but somehow that didn't seem quite right.  She was a free bird, here by choice, and it blessed me.  I dubbed her Emma, short for Emmanuel, which means "God with us"... and considered her a good omen of peace, happiness and prosperity for our farm.

Emma took up residence above some old wooden grain bins in the shed, and just hung around for awhile. I would set out extra grain especially for her, and she would clean it up once I was out of sight.  Every time I saw her, it was such a lift to my spirits; her exquisite beauty, the pure white of her feathers, the peaceful aura which surrounded her and her unlikely presence seemed somehow supernatural.

Emma is gone now.  Maybe she just flew off course, needed a rest stop and we offered her the food and shelter she needed; or maybe she was here for a higher purpose.  At first I was so disappointed to realize she had moved on, but now have adopted the attitude that having her here, if only for a little while, was one of those little blessings in life that one must appreciate in the moment and later remember fondly. I'm so glad I made no attempt to capture, cage or return Emma to some owner, contrary to her free will. Doing so would have served no purpose, and somehow diminished the experience.

As it is, the little white free bird is, indeed, free.  Interestingly enough, the migraines have also subsided, the weather improved, the mishaps and misunderstandings and projects not quite so overwhelming, and my mood improved.

Thanks, Emma.

1 comment:

Rosalie W. said...

That's INCREDIBLE, Amy! What a blessing to have been visited by such a wonderful creature of God. Sometimes we just need a bit of a nudge to remind us that everything's going to be OK. I hope things continue to improve for you!