New Perspectives: Lonesome Friendship – by Rev. Heather McCarrel

He arrives daily, usually just around supper time and makes his presence known by singing a low sad melody.  Dutifully I stop whatever I am doing and lay out fresh food with hopes he may stay awhile.

His lonesome presence has become a part of my daily routine as I deliberately pay him attention; wanting him to know he is noticed, valued and precious in someone’s eyes.

His official name is Zenaida Macroura, many know him as a Mourning Dove; I have named him Bedad Kissimi (B.K. for short).  Bedad is an Old Testament name meaning, “alone or set aside” and once while visiting I was able to point Bedad out to a friend who shared that the name Kissimmi  is an Indigenous name that means ‘alone.’ So, this is how Bedad Kissimi came to be named.

It isn’t clear why B.K. is all alone.  Presumably his mate has died but perhaps she tossed him out of the nest for spending too many late nights with his buddies or for leaving his dirty socks under the bed. It doesn’t matter; I am tired of the world’s judgements on others.  He has bravely made his aloneness known and I choose to respond with kindness, friendship and fresh birdseed.

His friendship has come to mean much to me, having him trust me is truly a privilege. At first he would stay in the tree top until after I had placed the seed and returned inside.  Now, he stays only an arm’s length away, we make eye contact most days as he tilts his head in gratitude.

In fact, I have wondered who is helping who.  I simply drop seed on the deck floor while he engages the strings of my heart!

As Charles Chaplin said, “He who feeds a hungry animal, feeds his own soul.”