|Mourning Doves get their name because of the distinct melancholic “woo-oo-oo” sound that evokes the feeling of misery owing to the loss of a dear one. However, the symbol of mourning doves is spiritual as well as optimistic. Though the sound of this bird is sorrowful, it symbolizes peace, renewal and hope in a refreshing life. There is likely no more appropriate symbol of innocence, gentleness, loyalty and affection than the Turtle Dove. For thousands of years in many different cultures they have been associated with godliness, immortality, power, victory, and kinship.
Perhaps because of Biblical references (especially the well-known verse from the Song of Songs), its mournful voice, and the fact that it forms lifelong pair bonds, Turtle Doves have become emblems of devoted love. In Renaissance Europe, the Turtle Dove was envisaged as the devoted partner of the Phoenix – to include William Shakespeare’s poem “The Phoenix and the Turtle.”
We add the Turtle Dove to our family of symbols on the Hope Tree as a reminder that we can be both fierce and gentle at the same time on this cancer journey. As the Turtle Dove bonds for life with its mate – we will not abandon our mind, body or spirit in this struggle.