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

Your heart

Your soul.

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?



What happens

When we Pause

To look


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 
Wisdom shared 
And strength exchanged 

In just that one single moment.


Every Pause is a gift.

And always… 

We EACH have 

SO very much

To give.

The moment I cease my thoughts, my actions

Simply to notice what is being offered to me?

That is truly a moment of creation.


We create…

In remembering to ask myself:

“What Hummingbird Moment will you find hidden today…

Within this Pause?”

Truly all

Becomes new

Before my eyes.


Will you go now…

And begin your creative journey?



Look again.


Hummingbirds everywhere!

(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!)

5 thoughts on “Hummingbird Moments

  1. Janelle I took much from your blog this morning. I met an incredible person named Pam about 5 years ago, that told me that God wanted me to speak to him in plain English. No need to candy coat the words in any form, just state the meaning of what you intend to communicate.

    The very next morning I was at the Rocks not far from your house at 5 in the morning in the hot tub. While I was sitting there with the stars still out a purple hummingbird appeared and levitated in front of my eyes for more than 2 minutes. I took that as a hello from the Creator. I’ve never seen a hummingbird act like that for that length of time, staring me in the eyes as I sat there. I could have reached out and touched this being but I did not even try.

    I said a little hello to the beautiful purple message from God. I thanked the Creator for the message and had a short one way discussion with it. The only exception being a physical presence of this beautiful purple hummingbird! Moving so gracefully and although its movement was as fast as a chainsaw wide open it had the stillness of the quietest night you can ever recall. A real moment of peace and connection.

    It had such an impression on me that once I began reading your blog it hit me right between the eyes. There it was again.

    I rejoiced that moment in time and as I recalled saying farewell to this beautiful being and reading your wonderful words as always, I again took this as a message from the Creator and maybe just a simple hello!

    Thank you for being you!



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    1. Hi Mark~
      What a beautiful treasure you shared from your personal history! I so appreciate your adding to this “thread” of choosing to Pause become aware.
      The messages we long for are truly omnipresent and therefore available whenever we decide it’s time to slow down and look about to see what they are!
      I love the image of the vibrant (purple!!) energy, simultaneous with stillness, present in this magnificent creature…and what a thought that is: your hummingbird brought ALL of itself, the full range, its whole body and soul to commune with you…and you were available to see much more because you were open and still, perhaps you were already expecting the unexpected!
      Thank you so much for allowing us here to be a part of your joy and awe…We were “visited” as well by this glorious tiny powerful bird! Your words transported me and I will carry this experience with me as well…« grace à toi »!


  2. Janelle, in my 63 years I’ve only seen a hummingbird twice…..once near a shrub at my sister’s in Florida, and once hovering close to my face outside the front door of my house in Connecticut near a hanging flowering plant. I had thought it was a butterfly, and when I turned to look, saw it was a hummingbird….and the joy I felt is one I can still remember. Both experiences we’re beautiful for me and will never be forgotten. But the experience that you’ve written about in your blog today is truly beautiful…..inspirational…..lovely. There are magical “hummingbird” moments everyday…..we just need to take notice! Thank you, Janelle!


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