So, sometimes we have one of those moments that makes us go "Wow. That was something special, really something to remember."
That happened to me yesterday afternoon. I'd noticed the hummingbird feeder was empty, so I was making up a fresh batch of sugar-water.* I brought in the empty feeder to clean,** refilled it with the last of the last batch, and took it back out to re-hang. I'd no sooner reached the balcony railing, however, before a hummingbird came and hovered a short way off, waiting for me to put the feeder back on its hook so it could get on with it. Instead, I decided to simply hold the feeder out toward it and see if it would come. After a few seconds' hestitation, it did, taking its time and drinking its fill before zipping off again. I've never been this close up to a hummingbird before and had plenty of time to take in its individual feathers, the little black tongue after each good long sip, the silence of its wings even when they're moving at a blur while it hovers.
Truly a moment to cherish. And one that made me think how much our preconceptions shape what we see. If it'd been a yellow jacket, I probably wd not have admired her elegance and grace but simply been nervous about being stung. But that knowledge of my limitations doesn't diminish the wonder of the moment.
*1 cup sugar, 4 cups water, stir, boil, cool, bottle. Keep in refrigerator till need.
**humming birds are v. vulnerable to bacteria that can grow in the sugar-water when it's been out in the sun for too long, so I always clean each of our two little feeders each time it needs filling.
inside Edmund Wilson
1 day ago