The Mighty Little Hummer

"Just Chillin'"
“Just Chillin'”

Melancholy.  That’s how I woke up this morning.  I can’t pinpoint any one thing that made me feel that way.  It just seemed there were “little” things nagging me, finances, how to build my business exposure, children, weather, my weight, etc.  Answer for melancholy, walk the dog.

Leave it to the birds to put everything in perspective.  Strolling along near an open field, watching my Retriever, intoxicated by the smells of rodent, bird and rabbit trails, weaving at breakneck speed through the tall grass, I stop, look up, and listen.  Chirp, chirp, chirp…warning sounds coming from somewhere.  Thinking I’d exhausted the search by scanning the entire area around me I notice a tiny little speck at the top of a leafless tree.  Not sure if I’d really spotted anything besides a baron branch, I step closer.  The “branch” chirps.  Repeating that several times, finally the hummer takes flight, leaving me to stare at that empty space, thinking about an experience I had this time last year with an Anna’s Hummingbird.

We had freezing to subzero weather for days and weeks on end.  One morning as the sun began to rise and the frozen branches of the dormant dogwood outside my window began to sparkle, I noticed a new little lump on a branch.  A few minutes earlier I’d hung out the thawed hummingbird feeder.  At some point one of our hummers had flown in, slurped up some nourishment and sat down to take in the beautiful sunrise, just as I was.  He had everything he needed and relaxed.

Before he flew I took some pictures of him with his tiny little feathers fluffed up into a dark green and grey, sometimes iridescent ball.  During the summer I was going through pictures on my computer and came across my little hummer picture and couldn’t resist painting his portrait.  Because I was in the midst of working on a painting of hummers for my Bird-Watcher series I was doing research on them and although I already was amazed by them the more I learned the more amazed I became.   Here are only a few of the facts I learned:  There are over 350 species of hummingbirds, all restricted to the Americas; their average lifespan is 3-12 years; their wings beat 50-200 flaps per second; their heart beats 1,200 beats per second; to conserve energy while sleeping they enter a state of torpor, hummingbirds spend from 10-15% of their time feeding, 75-80% of their time sitting and digesting.

How fearfully and wonderfully made this mighty little bird!  As a reminder to myself and anyone else who may be needing a boost out of their melancholy state, remember the lessons we can learn from these little birds…..Chill Out!  If God sees every little bird and its needs, how much more is He watching over us?