I had intended to plant my spring vegetable garden last weekend. The deck was loaded with 1" pots of cantaloupe, several new varieties of yellow peppers, an heirloom tomato and a beefsteak (can’t argue with success) and of course, succulent sun golds. Also some mixed lettuces, Thai and Italian basils, and the basic bean and squash supply. The compost had already been turned in and all systems were go.
Then the weather changed, and thinking it was winter again, my body decided to give in to the cold. Huddled up in a combination Dayquil/Nyquil trance, staring out the window and watching the rain, I had to resign myself to give up my vegetable planting plans.
That’s when I noticed the doves. I heard the cooing first, then saw them nuzzling on the deck railing just outside my living room window. It is easy to see why they are called “lovebirds.” One of them cocked its head in my direction, then darted down into the vegetable beds. It poked its head in the dirt, came up with a twig in its beak, then darted back to its partner who waited patiently on the railing. A few moments passed and the first one darted over to the front porch, beneath a trellis of climbing roses and grape vines. The other followed. Back and forth they went, from trellis to deck railing to the garden floor, a constant uninterrupted flight pattern of serious purpose. I watched as each dove took a turn digging in the dirt, returning to the trellis with some wonderful new dry stick in its beak.
I sat at the window and did nothing but watch. From time to time a phone call would draw me away, or a meal, or sleep. But in the course of the weekend, I found myself mesmerized by the activity of these two busy doves, building a home a few feet from my front door.
Weeks later, I found the thick beginnings of a nest hanging precariously over one of the trellis supports. A few bits of dried twigs had fallen onto a clump of roses and I placed them back with the others. I wondered if I was helping or hindering their house building plans. Maybe they had tossed them aside for reasons only doves would know.
We get so busy in our gardens. Plans, jobs, projects of great importance. I really really do want to get my vegetable beds planted soon, and there is a host of weeds in the walkways practically calling my name.
But still, I was glad I took the time to do nothing other than observe these two diligent doves, gathering up twigs to build a home in my garden, reminding me I’m not the only one who lives here.