When Doves Cry

By: Peggy Willms

(3 min read) 

While sitting outside this morning, I closed my eyes and found a sync between my breathing, my heart rate, and the cooing of my feathered friends. As the volume of the dove’s coos increased, I thought of the song, When Doves Cry, written by Prince for the movie, Purple Rain. The movie was released in 1984, the year I graduated from high school. I cannot believe it has been nearly forty years. It feels like only twenty.

My dreamland faded away, and I opened my eyes to blue skies and an urge to investigate – what did Prince lyrics mean to him, and I wondered do doves really cry?

The lyrics, as with most song lyrics, can be left to interpretation, and songwriters often use metaphors. When doves cry. In the movie, Prince lost Apollonia to his rival, Morris Day, he was left in shambles, and his life flashed before his eyes. He was devastated. His heart was broken.

How can you leave me standing? Alone in a world so cold? Maybe I’m just too demanding. Maybe I’m just like my father too bold. Maybe you’re just like my mother. She’s never satisfied. Why do we scream at each other? This is what it sounds like when doves cry.

Purple Rain was such a dramatic representation of the ups and downs of toxic relationships, which many say was a narrative most likely parallel to the singer’s real life. I quickly realized the importance and respect for different perspectives. I think of doves as a sign of peace, love, and freedom, whereas his reference to doves in this movie was that of a tumultuous heartbreak.

My history with doves is lengthy and remarkable. Over the past twelve years, doves seem to hang out with my boyfriend and me whether we lived in Colorado or at each of our three homes in Florida. When mourning doves pair up, they mate for life. So maybe that is our relationship spirit animal and symbolization that my guy and I are stuck together for life. Aww.

Last year when we bought our new home, it was one of the first observations I had—“Look, there is another set of doves.” And a year later, after a horrific hurricane, we now have two sets, two nests, and little babies.

As I have become more aware of the animal kingdom that surrounds me, the more I realize these doves deliver very timely messages to us. Every time we move into a new home, they have also settled in. For me, they wave a large welcome flag. “Here, you will find peace, much happiness, and your heart will be filled with love.” 

As I thumbed through the Internet, I learned that doves really do shed tears, and apparently not only with heartbreak. Their tears are designed to keep their eyes moist. Not only do they mate for life, but their gender roles are specific. The twigs are gathered by the males. The females then begin the domestic work building a safe haven to lay their young and prepare them for new adventures. Interestingly, they lay two eggs.

For thousands of years, doves have been released at wedding ceremonies, rituals, and other celebrations. They symbolize new beginnings, peace, fidelity, love, luck, and prosperity. They can also represent the flow of life and harmony. And many believe that they may be a sign that spiritual love surrounds you.

For me, I will close my eyes again, and in no time, their melodic rhythm will have me at Zen in no time. 

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC
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