"For, lo, the Winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." (Song of Solomon 2:11-12)
The voice of the turtle? It's the turtledove. Not to be silly, but it's hard to come out of one's shell when one is so sensitive. Perhaps that's what Solomon is referring to? The natural order of things and also the fact that the so-named "turtle" dove—also known as the "mourning" dove—is extremely sensitive and won't stick around to be noticed or caught or otherwise accosted unless things are just so.
A just-so story
As an aside, an old-world myth said that the entire (flat) world was centered on the back of an enormous tortoise, making his way through the universe.
The order Chelonia comprises the whole of the turtle species. The name comes from the same Greek root as "scar". Several of which, I'm sure most of us possess, if not more. And that's what keeps us from sticking our neck out. Our scars can be reminders of God's healing and presence and care. Or they can be monuments to that way of life and that era, something we haven't yet overcome but instead keep going back to in heart and mind and reliving. I have a half-inch scar above my left eyebrow that I received the morning of my parents' divorce trial. I was coming back from delivering newspapers and not looking where I was going. I suppose I should add that I was skating down the sidewalk (in front of a hospital, no less) waving to a friend across the street who I'd see periodically walking in the cool of the morning. You can imagine how he felt as he watched me run headlong into a utility pole and split my forehead open. Not as bad as it sounds, but you really couldn't tell through all the blood. Several drops of which have since faded away on the sidewalk. I sat through the trial, dabbing at the still weeping wound. Afterwards, my dad offered to get me something to prevent scarring but I declined. I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to retain something so unique. The next couple of (depressing) days, however, I was unable to be in any quickly-moving vehicle without experiencing some sort of...shellshock.
But we're talking about doves here, right?
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:13)
"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17)
Lock and Chelation
Freedom. Peace. A sense of hope about the things which heretofore had shackled us and kept us down. These things of imprisonment does the Holy Spirit dissolve and wash away. But it takes time. There are things I'm waiting for that haven't shown yet. But it doesn't mean they're not on their way. The seeds were planted long ago and if I'm not willing to wait to see the shoots break through rock and concrete, I may not receive the blessing for which I've been yearning. There's a medical process called chelation (it refers to the build up of metals in the blood) in which a fluid is intravenously administered and which slowly dissolves deposits that have been building up for years. It takes time. The tortoise is known for his easy gait, but he eventually makes it. The Holy Spirit is always at work in dissolving our fears and insecurities and scar tissue (if so desired) and replacing them with their Christlike counterparts. Know this. And if you feel so inclined, thank Him for it. Acknowledge Him—He's just as much God as the Son and the Father. In closing, if you ever think about it, know that Jesus has chosen to retain His scars for eternity. I can't wrap my mind around that. I can accept it and wonder at it and I must respect it if I want the Holy Spirit to intimate to me the healing properties that His scars represent.
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:3-5)
Happy Spring and apologies to Aesop and Kipling.