A Word From Nancy - Pale-vented Pigeon - May 2022

Pale-vented Pigeon

Doing or being: who knows?

"Doing is never enough
If you neglect being.”
― Eckhart Tolle

Since pigeons mate for life, I believe these two birds are a couple; one is “just sitting there”, the other is flying from Point A to Point B. It is tempting, and traditional, to view the one that is moving as “doing” while the one who is stationary is credited with “being”, perhaps pondering life’s persistent questions. As I get older I no longer believe I can tell whether another person is Doing or Being just by looking at them.

Using this photo as an example, and doing just a bit of anthropomorphizing, it is entirely possible that the flying bird is Being fully present, mindful of the contraction and relaxation of each muscle, enjoying the breeze in her face, and not the least bit worried about what she’s going to find when she gets wherever it is she is going.

She knows she can deal with whatever comes up. And perhaps the bird that appears to be mindfully present is in fact Doing: focusing on regrets over past actions or inactions, or fretfully worrying about what tomorrow might bring.

There are lots of differences between a mind that is Doing and one that is Being, and neither state is all good or all bad. Dan and I have been discussing mindfulness a lot lately, using “The MIndful Way Workbook”. Doing-mode definitely dominated our lives in the past, but we’re each nudging ourselves toward more time in the Being/midfulness-mode.

This month’s photo was taken last May at Cope Arte. This is one of many small businesses that have sprung up here in Costa Rica to cater to wildlife photographers. I highly recommend a few hours there if you are coming to take bird photos.

I wasn’t able to find any intriguing factoids about this species. As I did an internet search I was struck by the almost identical entries for the bird on many different websites; I wonder what the long-term impacts of such blatant plagiarism will be? Here is something interesting about Pigeons in general: they drink by sucking water and using their beaks like straws. Most birds sip water and then throw their head back to swallow.

Here are two more images of the bird in the foreground:


Pale-vented Pigeion 2


I’d welcome any caption ideas you might have :)

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