I saw the blood on the patio and noticed a small dove stunned on my lawn.
Yesterday, she sat contentedly in the branch of our neighbor’s palm tree. She seemed confident and proud in her nest, yet watching us with a careful eye. My husband and I marveled at how delicate she was, her mate cooing above on the roof.
I could see more blood on her chest. Trembling, wounded, she saw me edge closer. Too close. Wings flapped in attempted flight. My heart ached for this dove losing her safe nest. What predatory assault obliterated her home, her family and from the amount of blood on her and the patio—most likely her life?
Waves of grief. How can this be? This is too much grief. It was a bird—just a bird! No, it was the representation of a life stolen. Snuffed out, assault with no mercy, predatory violence. And there it was, ripping at deeper grief over the death of a black man gasping for air under the crushing knee of white supremacy. And more grief. Gunshots and trucks chasing a neighbor out on a jog. Another life—gone in an instant. Nothing left, love and a nest at home destroyed.
Fitful sleep, flashes of knees stifling breath and doves falling to the ground.
Exhausted, I woke up the next morning to the coo of a dove. Hope. I wasn’t alone in what I felt. Thousands of people felt it too. They had the courage to brave bullets, gas canisters and more predatory violence. They had the courage to scream, ENOUGH! Enough white against black, hate against love. Despite the risk, they fought for life while saving hope for the rest of us.
Life lost, thousands upon thousands around the world fighting desperately for justice and freedom of speech while gasping under the knee of authoritarian oppression.
They won’t give up. They are still standing up for justice, still wounded in the street and trembling. They are fighting with every fiber of their being for my life and yours, and I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the hope they create because of their courage and I’m grateful that doves still coo at the new dawn.