upward flight

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There is a large, glass, barn door that slides, making an entire wall an opening to the garden. It’s part of my home and it’s glorious. I’ve gotten used to bumble bees and flies temporarily buzzing in, making their circles before finding their way back out to freedom. They’re quick visitors.

Three days ago, Craig arrived from Cartagena. It’s been a long anticipated reunion interlaced with both apprehension and joy. Six months apart can do that…create a meeting of feelings that ordinarily do not share space. As we had our first morning together, we made lunch in the kitchen, the glass door opened. In zoomed something much larger than a bee.

Hovering across the glass ceiling was a hummingbird, wings beating so fast they sounded like a mini helicopter. She was instantly desperate to find the exit, and seeing the sky above her, was puzzled that she could not lift above the glass barrier. Back and forth, she flew with urgency. Little did she know that lowering a few centimeters would put her in line with the door’s opening.

It was frustrating to watch.

At moments, she found a ledge near the ceiling to rest. She was exhausted. We wondered how we could help. For a while, we left the room and waited to see if our absence calmed her into the right movement. Concerned she’d wear herself out, we opted for a more hands-on approach. With a broom and teamwork, we managed to gently guide her out.

Relief experienced, I stepped outside expecting to see her perch on a branch and shake off the traumatic moments. But, no. Instead, she flew higher and higher until I worried aloud: “I’m afraid she’s flying so high she will fall out of the sky!” Craig laughed at this and we finished our lunch.

A few years ago, Craig’s mom gave me a book about Animal Totems which gave meanings behind the reasons certain animals appear in your life or your dreams. It’s fascinating, really. I decided to look up what the significance of a humming bird is, and found the following:

  • Lightness of being, enjoyment of life
  • Being more present
  • Independence
  • Bringing playfulness and joy in your life
  • Lifting up negativity
  • Swiftness, ability to respond quickly
  • Resiliency, being able to travel great distances tirelessly

Honestly, this speaks to me and where both Craig and I are in our lives. Our time apart has encouraged some large questions about who we are, what we want, and how we envision our lives. These are not comfortable questions. They are scary. They are maddening. They are necessary.

While the humming bird’s visit shared a message in her simple presence, it also gave us something more: permission to continue our upward flight.


  1. Anonymous said:


  2. Marcela Avila-Mendoza said:

    I love this reflection. Humming birds have always been meaningful in my family. We interpret it as the soul of our deceased loved one that come to say hello. A hummingbird has always brought a smile to my face and helps me become present . Thank you for sharing this and I am looking forward to hearing about your & Craig’s journey during this next stage in your lives .

  3. Thank you< Marcy. I know how meaningful the hummingbird is for you and your family. All my love to you.

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