||[Jul. 6th, 2003|08:26 am]
Yesterday I walked into the backyard and changed the sprinkler around, then walked back out to turn on the water. When I returned to check that it was going where I had planned, I was startled by two young mourning doves nestled side by side on the ground by the fairy roses, their feathers blending with the dun-colored mulch on which they sat. I was within four feet of them and they sat so perfectly still that for an instant I wondered whether they were statuary someone had placed there. Then one blinked.
They must have recently emerged from the nest, which Jeff later confirmed was under the overhang of the house. They were engaged in their one survival mechanism at that age, camoflauge, but I had that one insane moment of wondering if I could pick them up, pet their velvet feathers. Because they looked docile and tame.
Of course I did not approach them, well aware that another few steps in their direction would lead to panic, but I marvelled again at the nature of human arrogance. A part of us believes we are gods on the earth, and that it is here for our whim. That part is so deeply engrained that even I, whose religious beliefs are based around respect for the earth and her creatures, can have that moment of thinking that it is all here for my entertainment.
I did not approach the doves, nor stress them overmuch with my continued presence. Soon they will be old enough to take flight in the face of threat. They will not remember me or appreciate the day they remained unmolested by the watcher admiring their beauty. And that is how it should be.
I simply am not that important to the world.