April 29, 2015
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)
It happened during a quiet moment. I was sitting on my porch with pollen raining down on the umbrella I was sitting under. Various neighborhood birds forgot that I was a foreigner and they ventured to the nearby bird feeders. (As I discovered later, I had another visitor too—a tick.) I was alternating between reading Atul Gawande’s book, “Being Mortal,” and a revealing interview with David Simon about the complex problem in Baltimore that is coming to light.
A fluttering near my head caught my attention and I was greeted by the first hummingbird of the season, a ruby-throated hummingbird. It had been attracted to an orange object near me and then it flew away disappointed, for sure. But not for long. I knew that migrating hummingbirds return to Maryland in April and I had been so distracted lately that I forgot to put the feeder out for the new season. I immediately went into the house, mixed one cup of water with ¼ cup of sugar, and poured it into the feeder, which I then hung outside in its regular spot.
It took no longer than two minutes until a couple of hummingbirds discovered it. Since they live about four years, I think these returned to my porch from last year. I love to watch these bee-sized birds that beat their wings around 55 times per second and can fly 25 miles per hour—right, left, up, down, backwards and even upside down.
It makes me speculate that if humans were as flexible in their thinking as hummingbirds are in their flight, maybe we would be able to solve many more problems than we do now.
My gift today is a hummingbird.
You can find links to my other posts on this project here: