We are All Hummingbirds

The campground calls. After months of grant-writing, book-publishing, and some good old fashioned soul-searching, it’s high time for a break.

This past week, I was sitting on my front porch after another long day, complaining about some mundane issue at work. Never mind that the issues of late have included a pile of unwashed dishes in the sink, and whether we can get into the building (if that’s not the Universe saying ‘take a break’ I don’t know what is!).

All of a sudden, I was interrupted mid-sentence by the most wonderful thing: a hummingbird! I’d never been so close to one, with no panes of glass between us. It whirred up to one of our scraggly hanging planters, then whirred to the next. Though I couldn’t see its wings, I saw where they connected to its body, taut and strong and tryingtryingtrying to keep the whole enterprise aloft.

The hummingbird and I shared the same space for only a few seconds. But it was long enough to break my chatter and alight my attention to the beautiful world outside my mind. Even though a favorite quote is “There’s a noise in your head that pretends to be you and never stops talking” by Eckhart Tolle, I often forget it. This world, though, is full of natural reminders to come back and live in the present.

This weekend, I will indulge every opportunity to look outside myself and to listen for sounds beyond the noise in my head. Based on the many fully-reserved campgrounds in Shenandoah National Park, it seems there are a bunch of us with the same idea. We are all hummingbirds looking for quiet and calm.

Happy Labor Day to all.

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