There are some days when you just want to give up on the
political rat race; administration skylarks; conservatives
turning liberal; high crimes and misdemeanors in the White House,
ad infinitum. There comes a time when the front porch needs to
be visited – perhaps until the end of the week when all the
politicians go home. Turn off the tv; let the answering machine
do its job. I do that a lot. Sometimes it might even give us a
chance to think through what’s really bugging us, and is there
any solution. It could also be good for the blood pressure.
After some work in my yard recently, I sat in my rocker on the
front porch to rest a bit and was shortly visited by a “regular.”
She swooped in about three feet from where I sat and proceeded to
add a tiny little wisp of dandelion fuzz to her little nest
taking shape in the small bush by the porch. A delightful
humming bird who seemed to recognize me and had no qualms about
building her nest right beside my sidewalk at eye-level.
Watching her tuck the tiny addition to her nest was interesting.
It had to be just right and she worked at it several seconds
before heading off for more. As the nest grew, it was becoming
deeper and more luxurious with the softest material she could
find: tiny bits of fuzz; a tiny piece of thread; some things so
small it appeared that she was poking nothing into it. As she
tucked and turned in the nest to make it “just right,” her little
feet seemed to be working the bottom of the nest furiously to
iron out any irregularities, no matter how trifle. When this
nest is finished she will not lay eggs until it is perfect, and
then she will deposit two tiny Tic-Tacs to eventually add to the
pleasure I have of these colorful friends.
Many low bushes and trees house several nests through the year
and I never cease to be amazed at these friends. Often times
they will swoop in on me and hover just inches from my face and
cause me to wonder: what are they thinking? They certainly
aren’t worried about politics, or taxes, or IRS shenanigans.
Would it be too cruel to live that life? Sometimes it seems that
enemies surround us: thieves, robbers, unjust judges, political
scam artists, et al. Humming birds seem only to have one enemy –
and it is to their dismay that they are also a curious species.
Whenever I spot a diminutive piece of feather in the yard I worry
that one played catch-me-not with a neighborhood cat. They don’t
usually win – and it’s like I have lost another faithful friend.
Life is like that.
As I was thinking of the next few weeks when her eggs hatch and
the tiniest blobs of new life emerge, they will barely be
noticeable in the bottom of the nest. They grow fast, however,
and in no time at all, they will fill this tiny cavity and begin
to hover over the top of the nest, seeming to vie for more space.
There isn’t enough room for them to continue to live in this
temporary dwelling, so one day one will vacate and then the
other, to make their own way in their new world. And the nest
will be empty – the mother has done her job. Isn’t there a
lesson here for today’s generations?
Sitting on the porch can be therapeutic; and when a little friend
visits you, it can buoy your spirits and make you realize that
little things can mean a lot. Enjoy life – skip politics for a
week, and make lots of little friends.