Monday, July 19, 2004

Worth the Wait

How well I remember my first two hummingbird sightings. I had lived well into my adult years before the serendipity goddess relented long enough to bestow this particular blessing upon me.

We had a flowerbed by the gate into the backyard, and as I passed through on this day, my mind on who knows what, I thought I saw an incredibly big bug navigating amongst the flowers. Intrigued, I approached. When it began to fly off, I immediately realized, "No mere bug this." I had glimpsed my first hummer.

Several days later, I was lazing quietly on the deck, minding my own business. It was then that the hummer condescended to treat me to a genuine close encounter by visiting the flower baskets which hung but a few feet beyond my grasp. He lingered, fed from the nectar, hovered, and buzzed: in and out, back and forth, up and down.

I'm sure that my jaw dropped in amazement as I beheld this tiny but magnificent creation. I felt as though I were in the presence of something ... I don't know ... words fail. Something miraculous? Something divine? To me at least, a marvel.

I was deeply moved by this flying miracle. Tears formed, my heart leapt, my spirit gave thanks — emotions whirled and swirled unbidden. As the hummer drank from the flowers, I drank too — deep draughts of nature's finest. I'm sure that the moment must have been brief, that he shortly moved on. But time stopped for me then, and that remarkable twinkling remains forever etched. As I posted yesterday, I have since had glimpses of him or his descendants from afar; and, I have frequently and closely scrutinized his northerly cousins. However, he has never chosen to return to those flower baskets to bestow another blessing on this mere, awkward, lumbering human entity.

In an I want it now if not yesterday world, I speak up, here and now, of the merits of delayed gratification. When one has to endure for a comparatively long time before beholding certain wonders of nature, I believe that the wonders become all that more wondrous. I saw neither the sea nor the mountains until I was in my fifth decade. Upon seeing them, however, I was deeply moved, deeply grateful. Just as I had also been touched by the perfect little hummingbird in that perfect little moment.

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