Isn’t hummingbird magnificent?! I will never see this vibrating vibrant tiny jewel on the bird feeder. But this is the bird which more than all others fills me with joy.
Symbol of the nectar of life - indeed filled with the nectar of life - hummingbird sings with her/his wings. I take this bird to work, humming as I garden, shovel cat droppings (part of my current portfolio involves serving the cat community) and through all routine tasks. Perhaps because I am naturally serious and intense, I warm most to the presence of this bird who shows me that life can be light.
This stunning image is by the Featured Artist of The Bird Garden, Carne Griffiths. I discovered him because one of the mediums he uses is tea! Before the idea of Wild Poplars was born I asked if he would consider giving me a low res image of my favourite of his humming bird prints for private use. It was a cheeky request born out of financial need of the time. He responded with generosity and provided me with three, extending a bond of trust. We have become friends via e-mail and this is my thank you. Carne gets under the skin, fur and feathers of his subjects. His work brings the sensuous nature of life to the surface repeatedly. Find his work here.
Ted Andrews affords a long entry to hummingbird in Animal Speak, from which I’ve drawn much of the wisdom in this post. She (I think of her as feminine, perhaps as a result of discovering she is associated with the inner self, ‘the feminine to which we must give birth and expression to find our own joy’ (Ted Andrews).
She is also a master architect creating unique homes, and this confirms I have at least one drop of hummingbird nectar in my body for there is nothing which gives me greater joy than to be home-making.
Hummingbird makes life hum. And here’s a short poem which gives a nod to the corvids of the last post while celebrating the abundance of a Monday morning I used to approach with dread (tackling money matters and marketing). Aided by the hum of life’s plenitude I rise up to tackle the day with joy.
Today, particularly today, where we are faced with ecological disaster, climate crises and human atrocities at every switch of our screens, we need to be opportunists when it comes to joy. ‘The hummingbird can help you to find joy and sweetness in any situation. Its swiftness is always a reminder to grab joy while you can - as quickly as you can.’ She also reminds us to rest. She knows how to make her feathers into a insulating blanket and go into a state of deep torpidity in order to restore her reserves of energy. On that note I want to honour a human humming bird. Her name is Angela and she has been humming without resting most of her life. She is now being called to rest. No matter how difficult the situation she sees jewels in it and I she may not be aware what kind of ‘angel’ she is. Thank you Angela. Stay here in an insulating blanket of love and may anyone reading this send it to you.
I also think of the symbol for Extinction Rebellion which incorporates the figure of eight - infinity, balance - and how it includes ‘regenerative culture’ as part of its values, just as the hummingbird incorporates the figure of eight in the movement of her wings. Both are nimble, both skilful in flying any direction drawn by the nectar of life.
Perhaps this world-wide group of people who ‘Rebel For Life’ have one more thing in common with the ruby-throated member of its species who makes 2500 mile epic migrations, ‘the hummingbird is a symbol of accomplishing that which seems impossible. It will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.’
And talking of epic migrations, we soar with the swallows to meet our generous lodger of The Bird Garden who herself has a touch of the hummingbird as she dares to fly backwards occasionally, and is always up for a long haul flight of the metaphorical kind…
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