gardenVic and I understand hard times.  Our process as indie artists has informed this understanding, and in retrospect I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I have developed a cast-iron hide (except when it fails me).  I know my weaknesses, but I also see how far I’ve come, how much I’ve learned, and how much I honor the refusal to give up.  We’re in hard times again.  But somehow I’ve been able to find joy and beauty in the quotidian, and cling to each bright spot and learning moment with delight.  The giveback?  It keeps me strong when the alternative may be to fall apart, to succumb, to quit.  We sure aren’t winning right about now, but as long as we don’t surrender, we are not losers.

Life shows me this in a myriad of magical ways.

One recent summer morning, an other-worldly kind of event.  Vic came upstairs, upset.  A hummingbird had crashed into the screen door and was lying on the back deck, though it was still breathing, he told me.

I was nearly crazed with horror.  I said, close to tears, “BUT THIS IS A BAD OMEN!  A BAD OMEN!  Hummingbirds are magic creatures to me, it is a bad omen!” (As if our lives right now could get any worse, I couldn’t help thinking.)

Fighting panic, I went on down to face whatever I would find.  There it was, iridescent, impossibly tiny, motionless, but – YES-!  Breathing.

hummingbird down

A quick call to the vet yielded few answers save for the fact that they do not treat avians, but they did give me a number for a nearby animal shelter, which does.  I would skip that sugar watches hummingbirdstep for now.  Sugar, one of our feral rescues, had her nose pressed to the screen, watching intently from indoors, quivering with excitement.

Vic, who’d been outdoors keeping watch, reported that the bird had just rolled up from lying on its side to a sitting position; hope, then!  Maybe only stunned?

I decided to try to give it some sugar water, using one of the flutes from my hummingbird feeder, crept up to it slowly, and I saw the light come back into its eyes.

trumpet vineAnd then, a flutter of wings and it was aloft, sentient, soaring up over the row of gardens against the deep cloudless blue of a late-summer sky, and gone, to live another day.

Now there’s an omen, I thought.  And a very good one.  Vic was clapping as if somebody had slammed in the winning home run.  For me, it was a moment charged hummingbird aloftwith clear meaning.  One can be raised by spirit to live again.  A surge of gratitude and renewed faith left me so weak in the knees I had to sit down.  Every little thing is gonna be all right.

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11 Responses to MIRACLE AND WONDER

  1. Cindy Byrne says:

    Lovely images Stephanie, as always. I can picture Vic clapping for the bird as enthusiastically as he does when his favorite sports teams win.

  2. Kristine says:

    Ahhhh yes, Steph, the telling of your hummingbird story came together beautifully (being privy earlier –) As for the uplifting omen/meaning = sooo inspirational, one’s faith in the promise of good things to come IS renewed. The best kind of ending!

  3. Nenad Bach says:

    Love it. Life is precious and fragile and beautiful and unpredictable and sheer joy. Continue writing !

  4. Stephanie Silber says:

    Many thanks, NB!

  5. Stephanie Silber says:

    Kris, cool that you were privy to this post prior to its existence!

  6. Stephanie Silber says:

    Cindy, it is VERY LOUD clapping. Enthusiastic indeed. Thanks for your comment!

  7. Timothy E. Barbano says:

    Good morning ,what a nice story thanks for sharing and a Noble thing you guy’s did! my hat’s off to-ya , I to have been touched by the wonder and magic of the hummingbird. One morning a little hummingbird buzzed inches from his face, looking right in my eyes and my life was forever changed. One little fun fact the hummingbird has the largest brain in the bird kingdom Per Capita, t.e.b. 10/4/2015 10:38am

  8. Catherine Hiller says:

    A beautiful and hopeful post!

  9. Stephanie Silber says:

    Cathy, they tell me hopeful is good. Thanks for kind words! xo

  10. David Byler says:

    Hummingbirds are such special creatures. I live at the northern extreme of the Buff-bellied Hummingbird range. My little guy is twice as old in hummingbird years as I am in human years. On those rare occasions when I clean my glass patio doors he complains until I place a nose print on the glass – necessary to prevent accidents on his 90 mile an hour dives to protect his feeder from foolish migrants from New York or who knows where who think they can horn in on HIS feeder. Each year he selects one foreign female to sip and sup with him there. It may be that his insistence on the one smudge is to help out his ladies who haven’t had time to learn where the door is.

  11. Stephanie Silber says:

    David, what a great, great story. Vivid mental images. Thanks for sharing.

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