The Comfort of Mourning Doves

Mourning Doves
Mourning Doves in Over the Rhine

Since returning from San Francisco last week, I’ve been enjoying the presence of two mourning doves outside my apartment.

There are few trees where I live in Over the Rhine (downtown Cincinnati), so I’m surprised that any birds are nesting nearby. But this cute monogamous pair seems like they’ve settled in for the season since I keep hearing them each day.

To be clear, I am not a naturalist. I can’t identify even the most common trees or flowers, and my mother is frequently dumbfounded at my ignorance of Midwestern flora and fauna.

I’ve also openly admitted in business meetings that I do not like flowers, puppies, or babies. People move further away from me after such statements—and I do exaggerate, but not by much.

So I don’t know why I’m charmed. I have no interest in birds. But every morning as I wake up, I wait to hear their call. It’s a comforting and friendly presence that feels like a hopeful sign—although of what I don’t know.

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