Rufous hummingbirdAs I put the car in park in front of the house this morning I happened to glance up and spot a bird who was hovering just over my neighbor’s shrubs. I was completely surprised, shocked to be honest, I haven’t seen a bird like this in years: not since my family has lived in the south. It was a hummingbird.

I am used to hummingbirds who are a bit splashy in color, but this winged creature was brown and slightly green. After doing a bit of google digging I am thinking it was a female Rufous Hummingbird. This research is based entirely on a several years old article I found about an increase in Western hummingbirds to the Philadelphia area.

Seeing the hummingbird felt magical and special. It was like seeing a rainbow and I wished someone was with me.

Of course hummingbirds make me think of Millie and how she delighted in keeping a feeder full at the breakfast room window. We used to see hummingbirds often in the summer of my youth. The moment someone would spot one at the feeder it was announced in a sort of frantic whisper, “hummingbird!” Everyone would tip-toe to a spot in the room where they could possibly look out the window and marvel at the majesty. All is quiet when you watch a hummingbird. All is still. Holding one’s breath is normal.

As soon as the bird flew away the spell was broken and we could all exhale and exclaim our wonder. Millie would remark on the colors, my grandfather would comment on the size. Sometimes we would get out a book of birds we kept handy. The day was anointed by the gift of the glimpse. Seeing the hummingbird became the special moment of the day.

I’m thankful for the hummingbird who took a moment to slow down and pause and let me appreciate it this morning. I’ll carry this feeling, this memory, for a while. With gratitude.

Image Credit: Sberardi on Wikimedia

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