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In Loving Memory of

Cymoril "Cici" the Dove

August 2020 - 26 March, 2021

"St. Cecilia" by Stalk-Forrest Group (1970)

Cymoril was with me for less than a year, but she had a profound impact on my life. She was a hell of a fightin' bird, who refused to surrender to the limitations of her little body. She was born with a leg that would not cooperate, and in trying to help her I witnessed both the fierceness and the frailty of a simple white dove. She is named after Princess Cymoril, cousin and beloved of Elric of Melniboné (after whom I named Cici's cousin, who also has a bum leg, interestingly, on his opposite side). From the start I felt a bit superstitious, worrying that I had fated her to die like her namesake. Sometimes I am frightened of the power that humankind has over other creatures, both physically and symbolically. I am also in awe of the power that even the smallest creatures possess over humans. Destiny works in strange ways.

RIP Elric of Melnibirde
I couldn't bring myself to finish eulogizing this little bird because not long after putting her down, I had to euthanize Elric. Summer 2021 was a season of death. In June, my flock suffered a horrible bacterial disease that killed all but two of them. Most of them died in my hands while I was trying to give them medicine and nutrients. While I am happy to say that, as I finish writing this in Feb '22, the two survivors of my flock have mated with new partners and have already produced numerous healthy children, I can never forget what happened. Looking at my survivors, Crustopher and Bernard, I see a glimmer of remembrance in their eyes too.

I am so happy to have known, and to continue to know, the infinite fortitude and tenderness of these columbids. I have become a more nurturing person because of them. I have also gained a deep respect for Nature. It is an intelligent force, yet indifferent to joy and suffering. We cannot bend its laws, we cannot fix everything under the sun, we can only surrender.
I hope that this new season of life will last us many happy years.