House-buying is perhaps best left for the young. Flexibility is, unfortunately, something that effaces with age, and house-buying is a rough transition at best. For anyone following this blog over the past month, the theme of moving is familiar. How we hired a moving company that didn’t get us in our new place until after 2:30 in the morning. How torrential rains came later and flooded our worldly goods temporarily stored in the garage. How mowing the lawn caused me to question my faith—wait—I haven’t told that one yet! Well, you get the picture. Suffice it to say that although I didn’t think moving would be easy, it’s been a lot more difficult than I could’ve possibly imagined. In the midst of it came a dove.
At times, I must confess, I’m tempted toward superstition. A strange significance between events that are, in actual fact, random. We’ve all read of people who buy a house and discover some secret treasure left stashed away in the attic. The former owners of our house only left undisclosed defects that become clear in periods of prolonged rain. Even so, as I was feeling as miserable as one of Ray Bradbury’s astronauts on Venus—yes, the precipitation does begin to drive you insane after a while!—I decided to try an impose some order on the chaos that is our garage (we haven’t had a dry weekend since moving in to transfer the soggy stuff to our house) I looked down. There, amid the screws and other little detritus left behind in the way of treasure, I found a dove charm. A dove sent after a flood.
The symbolism of the dove with hope is ancient indeed. It predates the Bible when it comes to a symbol that the flood is nearly over. The Mesopotamians also had a dove sent out from the ark, and I’m given to believe this is something ancient mariners, whether they rhymed or not, regularly did to assess if land was near. Unlike our heavy, wingless species, birds can soar over chaos. At least for a while. They are a symbol of hope. Was that dove sent to me on purpose at a time when I needed it, or was it just a random find, one of those too much stuff in a small world moments? There’s no way to assess that, I suppose. For me, on yet another rainy day, it’s a symbol of hope. The only other choice, it seems, would be to build an ark.