Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down,
to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes.
Our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Stand still! Shimmering
hummingbird sees you as a
For the last few weeks I have been watching a nesting hummingbird outside the window at my place of work. The building is on a major business arterial on a bus line and has a goodly amount of the noisy foot traffic of families, kids, skateboarders, and everything else a semi-rural city block experiences.
The nest is tiny, not more than four inches in diameter and about an inch a and a half tall. It absolutely does not move on the branch of the flowering cherry and I’ve seen mama hummingbird ride out all manner of wind and rain under the organic umbrella the leaves make above the nest. Hummingbirds use spider web silk to bind the nest together and to whatever branch they choose as home, also making a softly cushioned nest for the babies. Her choice of home is so clever as people sit or walk right underneath her and they have no clue they are sharing space in their world with a broody hummingbird.
I’d seen Blythe, the mama hummer, fly away and return for very few short minutes while she was incubating, and I knew she was sitting on eggs because she sat there blithely through all manner of weather and city bus, semi-truck, agricultural vehicles, muscle cars and exhaust-deficient roaring pick-up trucks, kids jumping and yelling, bookcarts rumbling full of books, and homeless folks’s full rattling shopping carts.
The first day I returned to work after my mom’s death, Blythe wasn’t on the nest. I watched all day concerned something had happened to her. When she finally returned a tiny head poked its way skyward, a pointed beak open, waiting. Now there are two little beaks, the perfect number for a hummingbird nest. Blythe is away from the nest for longer periods each day, gathering food to regurgitate into the hungry, wide open beaks of the babies. I love the courage and tenacity of this tiny single mom and her devotion to her chicks, braving the weather and the noise to see her babies hatch and fly.
I’ve heard hummingbirds were thought to be immortal, as nobody saw them land, or breed, or nest. Perhaps they were the inspiration for the notion of fairies. Observant curious people have proven hummingbirds aren’t immortal; they land and breed like any other species. They are conceived (hwell, fertilized) and born, mature and leave the nest. They fly away only to build a nest of their own and hatch their own chicks. And the cycle goes around again.
Blythe’s babies won’t fledge for another week or so. I have been given such a gift to be able to watch this process, right outside a window I work beside as if it was my own private avian theater performance. I showed only a few trusted individuals so as to make sure the next was not disturbed. What joy and comfort in the abundance of this earth and continuance of the heart of life this is to watch this natural drama play out for my very eyes while they continue to cry in grief for my mom.
Flower Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – buddleia; California poppies; cosmos; Queen Anne’s lace; evening blooming primrose; black and white hollyhock (I’d only seen pinks and purples!); squash blossoms.
Currently Reading – Gut and Psychology Syndrome (healing science) by Natasha Campbell-McBride; When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us (family relationships) by Jane Adams; Coffee is Bad/Good for You (pop science) by Robert J. Davis; How to See Yourself as You Really Are (enlightenment) by Dalai Lama. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- My shower.
- My swimming pool membership.
- My bed and clean linens.
- Farm fresh eggs at the farmer’s market. From carnivorous hens. And a conscientious farmer.
- Simple food. Simply prepared.
- Fresh air.
- Still being able to walk outside.
- Going a few hours without crying.
- Friends who listen.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.