Tuesday, July 6, 2010
For the Birds
I miss the hummingbirds.
Last year we had resident hummingbirds that visited our feeder outside my kitchen window. If you've never watched one, you're missing out. Kind of like I am right now.
Early in the season we had several species come. As the summer progressed, we thinned out to just one.
Often I would be in the kitchen doing some of my least favorite chores, and a hummingbird would come. I nearly always stopped and watched for the few seconds it was there. Magic out my window. It was like smelling the roses, but watching instead. For a few moments scattered throughout the day, I was reminded of how miraculous our world really is.
The kids would stop all their noises and watch the hummingbirds too. It's incredible the power of one tiny little animal.
This year I was ready. I put up our hummingbird feeder and filled it with nectar. I looked forward to the tiny wings beating so fast they were a blur. But none came.
Instead, we've had a tree full of other things. Bright yellow birds. Some with red heads, some with yellow. Once during a rain spell, the tree outside our window had more than thirty of these colorful birds in it. For a few minutes, it looked like we lived in a tropical rain forest.
The other day I looked out my window and my heart sped up. Was it a hummingbird? And then a small pale yellow bird that looked like a canary landed on the top of my feeder.
Not a hummingbird, but maybe even more significant.
I did look up some of the species of hummingbirds to know that last year I had three different kinds here. I went to Petsmart and checked out the canaries. It looked like a match to me.
Maybe the weather patterns have changed just enough that the hummingbirds aren't coming. Maybe they're hanging out at someone else's house.
Either way, I can't help but appreciate the fact that in the absence of one miracle, another takes its place. A significant lesson, if I can but learn it from the birds.