I don’t know much about hummingbirds, but I do know that every time I see one, a sense of calm falls over me and life stands still for a few moments as I watch it delicately drink nectar from a flower. Call me a sap, but the beauty in those moments almost always catches me off guard.
There is an orange tree in the backyard of the house I work in. The kids and I go out there often to play in the sandbox or run around in the sunshine or draw on
ourselves the ground with chalk.
Very often around the orange tree for the past few weeks I’ve seen a hummingbird drinking from flowers, flitting in and out of branches, and disappearing from sight. Just last week I realized that the hummingbird never actually leaves when it disappears, instead it sits in its tiny little nest perched on one of the lower branches of the tree.
It has been my enjoyment over the past week to take the kids outside and then check on what became “my” hummingbird. The nest appeared as innocent and delicate as the tiny bird itself- bits of fluff and the thinnest twigs made up a soft resting place just large enough for the bird to sit in. I admired both the nest and the bird from a distance for one glorious week, knowing every time I saw the fluttering wings that it was the same bird I saw the day before. Watching the bird sit in its nest was comforting and beautiful.
Today the kids and I travelled to the backyard for some morning sunshine, and I found myself habitually wandering over to the orange tree. Today I did not find my hummingbird. I did not see its long beak reaching into the depths of a flower, nor did I hear its wings as it skirted through the branches. Today I found the tiny nest half fallen off of a branch on the orange tree, not quite decimated, but in no shape for a tiny bird to fix. Today marks the first day I will no longer know where my hummingbird is. Today the bird that brought me calmness and comfort brought me a peculiar sadness. Today is the end of something.