Sunday, 18 February 2018

When doves fly

Younger daughter held back, gazing raptly at the beautiful old-fashioned wooden cage containing twenty-one doves.

In the closing moments of the memorial service, after the eulogies, poems, and slideshow, the guests had stepped out into a beautiful and temperate afternoon, facing Georgia Strait.

The "dove-wrangler" told us the doves would return to their home in Qualicum Bay, and drew out two doves for the two young-adult children of the poetry man to hold. The doves looked like soft white feathery ships; held firmly in two hands, their heads poked up like periscopes and swiveled, blinking.

The lady invited the other hesitant guests to come forward, and she saw the longing in younger daughter's eyes. Unfortunately, the first bird pooped on younger daughter's hands, so the handler passed it on. The second dove struggled in younger daughter's uncertain grip, and broke free in a fluttering burst, wheeling away home.

The dove-handler calmly handed younger daughter a third dove and asked someone to cover its head to lull it. I step forward to do so, and those of us with the remaining twenty doves waited for the signal.

Later, young daughter gazed over the water.
"He was kind to me," she said.

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