The Noah dove and the olive branch
According to the Biblical story, Noah and his family had just endured a phenomenal ordeal, the Great Flood. This is a well-known narrative with lessons around faith and faithfulness, but rarely do we focus on that transition period, when the inhabitants restlessly waited for the waters to subside.
They wanted to go out, but may have feared drowning. They were uncertain about the “new normal” and what was transpiring outside. In order to ascertain if the waters had receded, Noah sent out a dove, who quickly returned as there was nowhere for it to rest.
Seven days later, Noah sent out this dove again, who now returned with an olive branch, plucked from the olive tree. This was a sign that the waters had abated off the earth and there were now signs of life. This olive branch signified hope for Noah and his family. It was a sign that the earth had been restored. Noah waited 7 more days and sent out the dove again, who did not return.
The olive branch even from this time, has signified, hope, peace, forgiveness and is a prevalent feature in the beak of the dove even on international logos and signage.