lessons learned: hummingbirds and hope

In the past couple of weeks, I have found myself taking refuge on my screened-in porch during times of day when the birds feed.  Whenever I begin to question humanity or grieve for this world, I find that sitting among nature roots me in the simple, good things that our Creator has to offer.  It centers me in the hope and peace I need to nurture my spirit amidst the chaos.

One cloudy afternoon, I sat on the blue glider rocking myself as warm tears ran down my cheeks–so many global and local events to mourn, so little understanding why they happened.  As I watched the chickadees at the feeder to my right, I heard a whirring buzz quickly approaching my left.  There, darting and diving among the leaves of the dogwood tree, were two female hummingbirds.

Because the front of our little homestead is filled with colorful flowers, most of our feathered friends spent summer hanging out there.  I had not noticed the hummers return this year.  As the gardens faded, however, the little creatures came to the back of the house seeking the feeder they had enjoyed the summer before.  This year, I had forgotten to hang it on the hook, but both birds flew to it in its resting place on the baker’s shelf.

I am not sure if my giddiness came from the delight of knowing they were back or the sense of hope it brought me in the midst of my lament.

I filled the feeder, removed the wind chimes, and hung the bulb full of their sweet elixir just in time for their return to the tree.

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As I nestled into the glider, I noticed one of the gals perched on a slim branch above the feeder while the other buzzed delightfully from opening to opening, filling her beak.  Most days since, I have been able to catch them in the early morning hours or just prior to twilight as they hover, chatter, and sip.

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I’ve named them Mary and Martha because of their personalities and feeding style.  Martha busily dances around the feeder filling her tiny belly while Mary patiently waits for an opening to pause on the edge and take her time enjoying the sweet treat.

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In these recent weeks as Violence, Hatred, and Bigotry continue to divide communities through word and action, I find respite in these two little friends.  The invite me to pause and remember the covenant of love our Creator made with us.

Regardless of those things that seem to overwhelm our world with darkness, even they cannot overshadow the smallest acts of hope that appear unexpectedly.

My prayer is that in times like these, we will not become paralyzed or grow weary–that even in our lament, we will remember the promise of hope and healing available to us all.

 

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