Stillness and Motion

This spring, we had the privilege of having a hummingbird nest in the front yard. It’s turned into an unexpected source of joy and relaxation.

Yesterday, the fledglings left the nest.

When the mother built her nest, the only reason I noticed it was because I sat outside, sipping tea. That particular morning, I was fighting off a panic attack, focusing on the sensations of steam on my nose, the stairs under my butt. As I tuned in to the things around me, I became aware of buzzing and chirping both next to and in front of me. That’s when I noticed her, zipping back and forth between our front garden and the tree by the curb.

As the world cranked along, sometimes smoothly, sometimes not, I would take a break and sit on the front porch. And before too long, I’d here the chirp and buzz as she spun around the yard, inspected the tree, and whizzed back to her nest. Even as the chicks got bigger, and she wasn’t able to sit on them as much, she was still around. Last week, a storm blew through the region, knocking out power, blowing down trees. As the sun went down, I ran out and looked up. Mama was sitting on the nest, wings cocked out, head down. The next morning I went out to survey the damage. Mama was gone, but the two teeny heads were there, quiet and swiveling in all directions.

Yesterday, when I looked up the tiny heads were gone. I panicked and looked at the ground beneath, worried, and just as I did, I heard a whirring over me. I looked up at a teeny grey hummer, bobbing in midair. It zipped around jerkily, going from brightly colored flower to brightly colored child’s bike next door to brightly colored bush and back to me (and my brightly colored sweater).

I don’t like to say I’ve been actively avoiding the news so much as I’ve been actively focusing on things that replenish me. Having the hummers around this spring has helped remind me to sit. Be still. Breathe. Be quiet. And in the middle of that stillness, something may come at you, all fluttering motion. Be aware and watch it. Appreciate it.