Susan Chernak McElroy shares here an unforgettable experience…
“What we can learn from broken Humming birds…
Many years ago I was working for the Marin Humane Society when someone brought a young adult hummingbird that had been caught by a cat. The tiny bird rested in a tissue-lined jewelry box that had never held anything as precious, brilliant, or dazzling as the cargo it held then.
I lifted the bird into my hand and felt a wave of nausea wash over me at the sight of her injured wing. Broken into jagged pieces, it hung from the bird’s shoulder like a crushed flower petal. There could be no rescue for this hummingbird. I held her sadly on my open palm and could not have been more surprised when the tiny bird dusted herself off like a chicken after a bath, teetered up the hillside of my hand, and came to perch confidently on my index finger. She began a thorough preening that included the remains of her useless wing, unmindful of my startled face a mere four inches away.
I walked carefully to the employee kitchen with the bird on my finger and mixed her up a quick sugar drink, I don’t imagine she had ever seen an eyedropper before, but she eagerly reached her sliverlike beak to the dropper and drained it in an instant.
“When I put my face closer to marvel at her, she met my gaze, eye for eye. Hers was the size of a grain of translucent black sand. Mine was blue and as large as her body. Her boldness astonished me. How could something this small, with potentially everything in the world to fear, be so courageous? I had handled probably hundreds of wild animals in distress and seen none as calm and trusting as this braveheart hummingbird. On some level she must have proclaimed me ‘safe.’ And that was that.
She did not seek me out in her crisis, but neither did she run from me. We faced each other across the catastrophe of her brokenness and came together for a too-brief few moments of gentle, sacred exchange. I had few heroes in my life at that time, but she instantly became one of them. That I could not offer her life and recovery was devastating to me. Perhaps that is why I still carry her jeweled green face and starlike eyes with me a full twenty-five years across time.”
Close your eyes and let this story sink a little deeper
Into your mind
What comes up for you?
Now read it a second time.
What was new?
What did you experience differently that shifted your first view?
And what changed within you?
When we Pause
We gift ourselves.
And so we cannot help but gift our world as well.
Such giving is always interconnected…
And always brings a change.
McElroy’s words are riveting for me: I was totally drawn into the story…
And so very grateful she took the time to pen her words!
Captivating and poignant…
The meeting of two beings with open hearts
All this creating a soul-wrenching beauty…
A love/awe experience between two creatures expressed simply in complete presence…
No words needed.
In such moments of connection:
Miracles are revealed
And strength exchanged
In just that one single moment.
Every Pause is a gift.
We EACH have
SO very much
The moment I cease my thoughts, my actions
Simply to notice what is being offered to me?
That is truly a moment of creation.
In remembering to ask myself:
“What Hummingbird Moment will you find hidden today…
Within this Pause?”
Before my eyes.
Will you go now…
And begin your creative journey?
(Photo credit: The picture of the quite “unbroken” hummingbird above was taken by my dear friend Kara Salvagno in her very own backyard. My very deepest gratitude to you, Kara, for sharing your beautiful friend with me…and with all who come to alight here amongst these words!)