A Zebra Dove, that is. And it told me it was time to be brave.
I admit, I went into hibernation. Or maybe the better term is “self-induced social coma.” I was blind-sided by a sudden rejection and betrayal, which really, really hurt a lot because it came literally out of nowhere. No warning, no build-up of events, nada. None of that drama. Just a big bombshell of a phone call and my reality was altered. It shook past, present, and future and I was lost. I am now a testament to the term “hot potato.” Add to that the fact that it came from a person whom I least expected to hurt me, it really shook me off balance in so many ways. Strangely, my reaction wasn’t the usual fight or flight. I actually stagnated.
Which was sad.
And then, after a month or so, a Zebra Dove paid me a visit.
I came home from work one day and I saw it just outside our garage gate. I parked the car and still there it was. I suddenly felt scared for it. It might be injured and one of the many free-range cats in our subdivision might get it! I stepped closer to it to check if it was hurt. It didn’t look like it was hurt in any way. It actually looked very clean and healthy! It shifted on its tiny feet towards my direction and cocked its head as if to look me in the eye. For a few seconds, we stared at each other: a Maia and a Zebra Dove.
I took my phone out thinking “Should I take a selfie?” but decided to just take a photo of the dove sans my face. It stayed a few more seconds before it flew calmly to a nearby guava tree. It looked down at me one more time before flying away to a higher mango tree.
I know it’s just a chance encounter with one of the more common birds in the city, but I may be suffering from some mild Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, so I’m probably reading into it more than I should. But I will indulge myself.
I posted that photo on Facebook and it has gotten more than a hundred likes! It’s either the common Zebra Doves have become a “wow” bird or my friends are just happy that I’ve finally woken up and have decided to go out and bird again. I choose to believe the latter (sorry, Zebra Doves.)
A friend asked me "Why'd you stop?" and that made me think long and hard. Why did I stop birding? Simple answer: I was scared. Of a lot of things which I will not elaborate anymore.
That Zebra Dove told me it’s now time to be brave (PTSD speaking) and I choose to look forward and live again. To hell with closure.