I saw a hummingbird dance this morning. A slight emerald girl bursting with excitement. She visits our feeder every day. We’re a few weeks from when the tasty flowers bloom – the hollyhocks, the oregano, the sage blossoms. The lilacs are just starting to think about opening, unlike 15 minutes south of us where they’re being harvested by the fistful.
So we supplement with a feeder. A round red jar ornamented with white plastic flowers. Filled with simply syrup, the standard fare. Nothing fancy, and not terribly exciting. We hang it near the kitchen window. When we eat breakfast, the hummingbirds eat too. When we eat lunch, they zoom in and out like a bustling coffee shop, grabbing with they need to get through their day.
I see them enough that I’m starting to tell them apart. The round little boy that likes to sit and relax, the female that stays focused on her meal, and the tiniest little girl that dances while she eats.
She bobs up and down as she sips from the flower, her tiny little feet dangling beneath her. Sometimes she stands on the perch, craning from her teeny little tiptoes. But usually the excitement overwhelms her. She bounces up and down like an excited toddler who just can’t contain themselves.
Excited about a plastic flower. About a simple syrup in sippable form. About life. Who knows?
She has plenty of reasons to be happy – the sun is shining, the weather’s warm, there’s a fresh sweet meal near a kitchen window. She has plenty of reasons to be unhappy, too. She leads a tenuous life. The dangers are real. And there’s no food on the immediate horizon.
But she chooses to dance.
I had a friend recently ask how I was doing. Really ask, in a tone that begged for a thoughtful answer. I had to think about it for a moment. I’m fine, but it sounds so cliché. When I think about it though, I really am fine. The sun is shining, the weather’s warm, and work is starting to trickle back onto my plate. It’s not the sort of work that I’m used to; it’s a simple syrup to get me through. But I celebrate anyway.
There are plenty of reasons to not be fine. There are a thousand things clawing for our attention and our emotions. It’s easy to succumb. We’re constantly reminded that we lead tenuous lives. Maybe tomorrow I’ll give in.