Feathering the Tiniest of Nests

Do you see them? Twin hummingbird babies! Their miniscule mommy has built a nest in a tree right outside my son’s front door. For a few weeks now he would step outside for some of that incredible Cali sunshine and find himself eye to beak with a tiny feathered dervish. Looking closer he discovered she was building a tiny nest. “It’s the size of  a teacup! It’s incredible!” he told me. Then the report that there were itty bitty eggs in the nest.

And now the eggs have hatched. Look closely at twelve o’clock.  You’ll see two little beaks pointing upwards, like hungry antennae trying to home in on their mom. Elliot did a bit of hummingbird research.  Now that the babies have feathers, they have grown so big that there’s no longer room for Mom in the nest.  She has moved somewhere nearby, close enough to keep watch, close enough to still care for them. Real soon, however, they’ll take flight on their own.  No pushing them out to test their wings. They’ll just fly. Where that leaves Mom, I don’t know.  Will she clean out her home?  Toss old test papers and Matchbox cars and redecorate? Or will she set up house elsewhere?

Hummingbirds are imbued all kinds of symbolism. My favorite interpretation, a Native American perspective, links these tiny flying jewels to accomplishing that which seems impossible. Hummingbirds, they thought, teach us to pursue the miracle of joyful living.

Whenever a hummingbird visits our garden it’s as if a miracle has come to call. Hovering to snack from a delphinium blossom or darting so fast from one tree to the other I can barely follow, the hummingbirds appear and disappear like lightening, but friendly, inviting.

I am glad that hummingmommy built her nest outside my son’s front door, involving him in yet another of Mother Nature’s miracles. I am grateful he and his sister live each day knowing that miracles surround them. May we all accomplish that which seems impossible and come eye to beak with the miracles that surround us every day.

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