July 28, 2011 - 6:08pm
This time of year we open every window, allowing as much of the outside world in as possible. We can feel the breezes, smell the fragrances of flower and field, hear the buzz of insects, water burbling in the creek, a cacophony of birdsong and the whir of hummingbirds passing by. Yesterday there was a deadly sound too – the soft “thunk” of a bird hitting our living room window. I ran outside and found a young hummingbird on the patio, still and stunned but alive. Scooping it up in soft silk, I gently laid it in the shade to recover, I hoped.
By evening, the hummer had recovered consciousness but was clearly dazed, dehydrated and had a broken wing. What to do? What life does a 1/10 ounce bird with a broken wing have? The tiny, miraculous, shimmering green creature with its purple and black collar tugged at my maternal instincts. It trembled and blinked its relatively wide eyes at me and I could sense its struggle for life. So I cooked up a batch of hummingbird syrup, cleaned an eye-dropper and went to work. Feeding it every half hour, it gradually came back to life, even fluttering its good wing which sent it into lopsided circles. Time after time it would rest, I would feed it more, and it tried its wings again. The little bird had determination! This morning I found it huddled down and barely breathing, but it had survived the night! With a little prodding its survival instincts kicked in again and it began actively sucking down several eye-droppers of nectar!
I swung into action to honor the life force that had almost literally fallen into my hands. The Colorado Division of Wildlife helped me transport the tiny bird to the Pauline Schneegas Wildlife Foundation forty miles away. They contacted a veterinarian who can fix something as tiny and delicate as a hummer’s wing. Imagine! It will live to zoom around again and hover over the world’s enticing flowers; to fly great distances over the Gulf of Mexico and perhaps even return to my home one day.
Nurturing that little fellow was as much a gift for me as it was to the bird. Taking ten minutes out of every hour of work to care for it filled my heart with love and appreciation for just how vulnerable life is. It is fragile, yet so fiercely strong! Nurturing the bird softened my soul, too, allowing gratitude to flow through me, and reminding me that all is connected; we are One. Nature’s perfection humbles me. And I feel profoundly moved and grateful to be part of the magical web of life.
Please write us and tell us about a time when you felt supremely connected to all. We’ll share on our website and FaceBook page.