All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares
Although you can’t see it
You know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares
Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag”
~ Mary Poppins ~ “Feed the Birds”
Let’s begin with a transport back in time, circa 1964. I think we all remember the classic, Mary Poppins ~ so many memories, SO MANY sing-alongs!
When I photographed this beautiful pigeon, the first thought that came to mind was the song, “Feed the Birds”, and of course I hummed the tune as I photographed him (his less flashy-colored female counterpart was right below him nestled in a small “cave” they built into the cliffside to nest).
Often, pigeons are viewed as pests in the city environment–I’ve even heard them referred to as flying rats; however, like all creatures, they have very unique characteristics. These birds are tied to very gentle and loving archetypal energies that offer humans a different, more benevolent, perspective on these feathered friends.
The pigeon has a long history associated with the home and with fertility. An interesting association: the real name of Christopher Columbus was “Colombo” which is the Italian word for “pigeon.” Columbus helped discover a new home. Pigeon also has an extraordinary homing sense. It knows how to find its way back, no matter how far it has traveled.
Because of this, they are often symbols for a time or a need to return to the security of home. Have you ever felt this way? Pigeon can teach us how to find our way back home when we are lost. They remind us to commemorate that which has positively affected us from our early home life. Have we forgotten who we are? Are we falling into old patterns we vowed to remember and change? Have we forgotten our basic foundations–the heritage we have had passed on to us through home and family? This includes the morals, the behaviors, the attitudes, etc. Pigeon teaches us to draw upon these aspects and use them.
Pigeons, especially white ones, figure prominently in the Bible. In the story of Noah, it has been said that a white pigeon and not a dove was released from his ark and later returned with an olive branch. Those so-called doves of peace you see in various publications and paintings are actually white pigeons. In some places pigeons have been used as symbols of love, fidelity, femininity, virtuous parentage, innocence, purity, speed, and the postal service. Their expressive eyes and their habit of tender billing (the equivalent of kissing) have symbolized erotic love to many artists. Picasso often featured pigeons in his paintings.
Medical science has not yet found a cure for fear. Actually, it is a malady of the soul and calls for a spiritual solution. In the physical form, here on Earth, it requires an attitudinal change. We need to drill into our minds that one only loses by giving in to fear. It paralyzes the mind, rendering it incapable of doing what it can easily do otherwise, including following our soul’s YOU-nique path. The behavior of pigeon illustrates this well. Frozen with fear when they see a cat, pigeons just shut their eyes instead of flying away. The result? They are injured, or worse. By committing to take on any situation calmly and with courage, we will be able to change our tendency to become frightened by unexpected or adverse circumstances.
In this day and age–this time/space continuum that we are now experiencing–we would do well to heed pigeon’s lessons…
Thank you, Pigeon..
OH, AND IF YOU’RE SO INCLINED, CLICK ON “FEED THE BIRDS” and journey back in time for a Mary Poppins moment: