Sunday, July 22, 2012

Free at last …

hummingbird-2My wife feeds half of the hummingbird population in the Southeast. Yes, I am exaggerating, but it often seems that way. Right now she has nine feeders on our front porch and anywhere from twenty to thirty hummers hovering and drinking at one time. It is almost dangerous out there as they dive bomb each other trying to protect their feeding spot. During the height of the hatching season, we can have close to a hundred feeding. Neighbors and friends stop by just to observe the spectacle.

Thursday morning I had just returned from Fred's second walk when I noticed a small bundle (like a crumbled leaf) on the garage floor in front ofhummingbird-hand my van’s front tire.  I took a closer look and saw there were two feet and a beak attached to the mess.  After closer inspection I realized it was a male Ruby-throated hummingbird and it wasn't moving.  I carefully picked it up and placed it in my left palm.  I was feeling terrible as I removed the spider web and dog hair that smothered it like a cocoon.  I kept on wishing I had noticed it earlier. Perhaps it would still have been alive then.

As I freed a bunch of hair and web from the hummingbird’s legs, it opened its eyes and righted itself in my palm. When it spread its wings, stretching them to their full expanse, I thought for certain it would fly off.  Instead, the hummingbird sat in my palm as if he was resting, perhaps regaining his strength.

hummingbird-1I went around to the front porch looking for my wife who was mowing the lawn.  I flagged her down and she came over wondering what I was holding in my hand.  I explained the situation and transferred the hummer to her palm. She carried it to a feeder hoping it would eat.  As she placed it on the perch, the hummingbird took to wing and flew off.  We both watched amazed as it rose into the air and flew over to a bush to rest. The experience was exciting and it filled both our hearts with gratitude.

Like the hummingbird, I often feel I am bound (chained) to the earth. I hope that someday a researcher finds a way to break my chains that will allow me to be free once again.

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