Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Laughing Dove on Mother’s Day

Mother Laughing Dove
Twenty odd years since my mom Vicky passed away, Mother’s Day isn’t getting easier.
Mother, Mom, Mommy, Omm, Maman, Madre… remain for me the most beautiful words in any dictionary and language. A mother is the most precious of beings and is to be celebrated and thanked every day of the year. And it is no wonder that Mother’s Day in the Middle East falls on the same day as the beginning of Spring.
There are so many mothers to celebrate, especially those who have been losing their children in these troubled months.
But it is one mother in particular I wish to mention on this first day of Spring – a mother in nature. She is hard working, entrepreneurial, loving and caring.

The next at the top of the ladder
I spotted her home before getting to see her around two weeks ago. I got interested to catch a glimpse of who lived there. Indeed, she had built her nest overnight at the top of a four-meter heavy-duty ladder.
She is a Laughing Dove, also called a Senegal Dove, a very common pigeon in the UAE.
Much smaller than normal ones, the Laughing Dove gets its name from its characteristic calls. Their soft, drawn-out calls sound like human laughter -- ha ha hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo.
I thought Vicky would approve. She loved birds and nature in general. I always remember how one day, sitting on our balcony in London watching a group of pigeons fly by, Mom said: “How I wish I could fly like them…”

The first egg....
... and then they were two
The dove’s home is built of sticks and it took just one day to complete, in time to start her family. On the second day I spotted one white egg in the nest. On the third day there were two. The species is known to lay two white eggs.
Since then, and for 10 days, Mother Dove has been sitting on her eggs, nearly 24 hours a day. She must leave the nest at some point to feed herself, maybe in the early mornings, but I haven’t witnessed this.
I cannot help but admire the dove’s love and devotion. She sets a good example.
I look forward to seeing her offspring and watching them grow and fly the nest.
Mother’s Day cannot pass without listening to Marcel Khalife’s “Ommi,” written by Mahmoud Darwish and dedicated this year to Palestinian and Syrian mothers:

Related posts:
Vicky: My mother, my child… -- January 31, 2012
Dearest Mom… -- March 21, 2011