In The Garden

The Dove

The tiny doves settled in leaning on each other. Time is not a certainty for it never is, but for now there was time and hope, enough to offer joy and peace. The Gardener smiled and called the angel to his side to leave the doves so they could enjoy the gifts of the garden. "This is their time, allow it to them, " the gardener said in quiet tones. We have our tasks to tend to. The angel nodded as her mind wandered back.

The angel had rushed to find the gardener - the tiny grey dove was so very ill - and her life partner now followed her to the garden - hovered worriedly about her. She had come to the garden blown by the harsh winds of a storm, wounded of heart and found healing in the garden - but now her tiny body betrayed her. The plant offered a sheltering branch and the garden creatures all gathered around as the gentle winds sang through the branches of the plant. The signs were all so grim, and all the garden creatures wept and sought to aid and comfort the small dove.

By the time she found the Gardener the angel was in tears herself - she began crying out to the Gardener even as he came barely into view. "Hurry - please hurry, she cannot give up hope!" the angel called out. The Gardener looked up - his eyes sad, "No, she must not give up hope," he answered softly. "I cannot lift her journey, but where it will carry her is yet up to her. Hope will find a way if she will hold to hope."

"HOPE?!" cried the angel, "The signs offer none, how can she cling to what is not offered?" The Gardener smiled, "Oh, but it is offered. Not a guarantee or a certainty, but hope. Hope built on faith and a willingness to fight and not give up." He reached toward a small shrub, all sticks in the quiet state of winter sleep. "This small shrub appears dead, and it is now Spring," he said quietly. The angel nodded, it was Spring and if the shrub had survived it should be alive with new growth. "Look closely," the Gardener said as he held a hand gently near a small branch. "You failed to see the very tiny buds set on each branch." As his hand lingered near each branch the tiny buds began to swell and reach toward the warmth they sensed. "You see, hope and life built on faith - faith that there is now warmth to sustain tender new growth."

The angel nodded, true, faith took work and trust, but she wanted to believe. Could the tiny frail dove find enough strength of faith? "No, she cannot," the Gardener said quietly, "she will need the faith of those who love her also." Now the angel look dismayed - depend on the faith of others? It seemed too much to ask, too much to hope for. "Never doubt the strength of love, Dear Angel. The strength of love is the greatest there is." With that he walked toward the tiny doves. When he came to where they were resting he spoke calmingly to them, "Easy little ones, it will be okay." He reached a gentle hand toward them and softly stroked the little dove’s feathers, "Easy little one, rest and heal."

© Candace

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