Lessons from pigeons – Being different. 

I don’t fit in. No siree, not me. I’m an oddball, a round peg in a square hole, a thorn amongst roses. The odd one out.

I’m different.

And I know I’m not the only one.

Last month I spent 10 days with family at their gorgeous home in the beautiful south west countryside. I’d just been signed off work for a month with post traumatic stress, following a few extreme incidents, so when I arrived I was ready for a good rest.

Much needed space.

Trauma, however experienced or witnessed, changes us.  With the time and space to reflect, to process, it can lead to self-understanding and growth. However without this, trauma can create personal anguish, deep voids.  Chasms filled with pain that needs to be let go of little by little over years.

It can make us feel estranged from others.



I learned this from bitter experience.  So, despite knowing that I was letting some people down by missing planned events, I had to get away. I needed to do my best to look after myself before I cracked up completely.

I had to have distance between me and the reminders of the traumatic events. Space from the demands of my daily life and from people. I had to connect with myself and with God again. Join up all the little dots of my fractured mind.

For me, being in nature really helps me to reconnect on a spiritual level so while I was away I spent as much time as I could outside.

Resting in the sunshine, enjoying the beautiful gardens.

There is a flock of special pigeons that live in one of the barns at the house. They’ve got sort of webbed feathery feet, and I think they are really pretty.  They are technically wild pigeons, but they always come back to the barn every day and my family feed them as if they are pets.  The flock seem to do everything together; they share meals, fly together, sit together. They are a proper little community.

But one of them is different. She (though could be a he) is a different breed, so doesn’t have the same sort of feet or feathers. She’s more a light brown while the others are dark grey.

And although she also lives in the barn, she doesn’t always do everything with the others. Quite often they go off flying without her, leave her behind.  She always seemed to be slightly on the outside even when she is with them, I never saw her in the middle of the flock.


That’s her, on the left.


And it got me thinking.  About being different.

I wondered whether she was being pushed out, or whether she kept herself out. I wondered if she knew she was different, if she noticed being excluded. I wondered if she felt it, how she felt it.

And I thought about the others. Did they intentionally fly off without her, or did she simply just not follow them?  Did she scare them?  Irritate them? Intrigue them?

Why, as the old saying goes, do  ‘birds of a feather flock together?’  Are we all just simply more comfortable with people that are like us?

But then I looked closer.

Were the flock actually comfortable with each other? Did they like the rest of the flock or were they just tolerant of them?

I saw them pecking and flapping at each other.  What appeared to be pigeon-styled bickering over food and space, and rank. The different one wasn’t included in this.

I too, am different

I don’t fit in. No siree, not me. I’m an oddball, a round peg in a square hole, a thorn amongst roses. The odd one out.

And I’m OK with it….

Most of the time.

L x


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