Welcome to the first edition of Saturday Morning Musings! I’m really psyched to put my blogging hat back on. I’ve missed writing – aside from my email newsletters and short bursts on Facebook and Twitter, I haven’t shared this side of me in quite a while. Here’s to another adventure into creative expression. I hope you enjoy it (and while you are here, please consider subscribing – and thanks!)!
The Allure of Hummingbirds
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by hummingbirds. Although I don’t recall exactly how old I was when I first encountered one, I will never forget that first impression.
My parents and I had been living in the house I grew up in – in Hebron, ME – for at least a few years. I remember being short enough to be able to walk without hunching so as not to disturb the spiderwebs that used to form reliably (no matter how many times my dad swept them away!) across the top of the porch. My mom loved hummingbirds and, in an effort to attract those beautiful little creatures, she used to buy baskets of fuchsias to hang along the edge of that same porch.
One summer day, I followed my mom out to “help” (really, to watch) her water her flowers. It was a perfect day – warm, cloudless, breezy – and after she was finished, she headed back in and then called me to join her, but I wanted to linger and enjoy the exhilarating weather – and those flowers! As brightly colored as they are, fuchsias always seemed a little sad to me, with their heavy, drooping heads always pointing down to the ground, as if to hide from the sun. I remember standing there watching those flower heads bobbing back and forth in the breeze – and then, a lull slowly fell over the yard as the wind lost its strength and tapered off. Everything got still.
And then, I heard it.
A terrible buzzzzzzzzzzz!
I immediately thought, “A BEE!!” and shrieked! (I didn’t like bees much back then.)
I turned towards the door as the buzzzzzz got considerably louder, and then I heard my mom’s voice through the open kitchen window.
“Don’t worry, hen,” she said in her Scottish brogue. “It’s just a wee hummingbird.”
I turned around, looked up at the nearest plant basket and, sure enough, there he was – an impossibly delicate blur, hovering perfectly between several of the flowers, paying no mind to my presence, going about his business. I stood staring at his slender beak, at the dazzling sparkle of his eye, at the clutch of reddish feathers on his breast, and at those wings, trying to focus on them – unthinkable! – and then in a flash, he was gone.
I couldn’t believe what I’d just seen.
I still can’t, actually. My heart seems to stop for a moment whenever I see one.
These days, I live in Conway, NH, literally at the end of a dirt road in the woods. It’s the first time I have truly felt at peace in a very long time (more on this in future posts!).
After a visit to a nearby nursery last week, I came home with a beautiful basket of striped, purple petunias. (The fuchsias that my heart was set on wouldn’t fare well in the tremendous amount of sun that this yard gets.) I hung them at the corner of the garden, just off the patio outside the French doors that bring all that sunlight into the kitchen every morning.
… and waited.
Every evening I bring those flowers in, every morning I set them out again, and will until sometime in June when it’s safe to have them out all night.
And every time I’m in the kitchen, I take a moment to stand at the kitchen screen door and look for hummingbirds.
…until Thursday afternoon.
Just for a moment, I saw what I thought was a wisp of a breeze moving the flowers just so, but no, here she was, visiting my flowers!
In my excitement – that same heart-stopping momentary loss of awareness of everything else except for that beautiful little friend – I rushed to the screen door to get a closer look, and then I watched her zip away.
Sadly, I’ve not seen her since.
But she has seen those petunias.
She’ll be back!
(I better go have a look.)