“A seagull and a crow attacked two doves at the Vatican as they were released from a window by two children and the Pope.”
The symbolism of doves has a long history associated with fertility, feminism, love and peace. As far back as the iron age in Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean the dove can be found as a symbol for the mother goddess. There is even evidence that suggests ancient Israelites believed the Canaanite goddess, Asherah (symbolized as a dove) was consort to Yahweh. As described by Dorothy Willette writing for the Biblical Archeology Society: The Enduring Symbolism of Doves; From ancient icon to biblical mainstay – “… it is not so surprising, then, that the heirs of this Israelite religion incorporated the “feminine” symbol of the dove to represent the spirit of God (the word for “spirit,” ruach, is a feminine word in Hebrew).”
So the fact that a crow, which often symbolizes death or acts as an omen of something bad occurring, attacked a dove at the Vatican acts as an almost archetypal representation of the battle between good and evil, life and death, peace and war.
As with any symbol, our own psyche can add layers of meanings to that which might only be a normal aspect of nature (predators going after prey, the cycle of life). Still, for me at least, it connected on such a personal, deep level to events going on in my own life that it was impossible to ignore. Like the traffic ticket I received last fall, I wondered what this was trying to tell me about my life.
I have found truth and consolation in the quote from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” And I have discovered yet again that this year is meant to test my own intentionality. What sort of person do I want to be? How will I respond when facing feelings of hurt and anger?
My conclusion has been this- that there is one prescription for powerlessness, staying true to who I am no matter what comes at me. In this way, as a dove confronting a crow becomes the very best representation of peace and love, so my values, tested under extreme situations, show the world exactly who I am.
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