Today a hummingbird visited our small home. She exhausted herself trying to find a way out through the skylight. Her teensy wings weighed down with the string of old spider webs and sawdust. Then, with a similar shock of elegance as when our son once slipped out of me and into his papa’s hands, so did this hummingbird fly right into my lover’s palm. We attempted to behold her, this thing that happened.
He set her down so she could consider when she might like to fly again. Moments later she would quake and lift into a lilting flight, finding her way to the cedar tree; The self-same tree where we first sought shelter at Evernia. We would tuck our tent just under the boughs. I followed and wondered as I watched her settle onto the cedar branch: Did I just imagine the color of her feathers growing more vibrant as she regained her strength? I stayed until it felt natural to leave her in peace.
I walked over to Timo, who had just started to wave me over; his other hand extended a pointer finger over his lips in a “shh” shape. When I joined him, he was meeting the gaze of a perky-eared coyote down in the crabgrass meadow. She stood next to the labyrinth he made the week before. The trickster was gray, petite, and resolute. She sat down for a moment, keeping her gaze; then stood back up and unhurriedly sauntered back into the forest. The moment she disappeared from our view a monarch-sized, yellow and black butterfly fluttered past us, trailed by an iridescently blue dragonfly.
The appearance of the hummingbird up to the retreat of the dragonfly took place in a span of fifteen minutes, during our child’s nap.
Seekers want to know why: What is the meaning of this abundance? Would something like to announce itself? Are we being welcomed? Has a long-awaited, sacred sprout broken soil in the forest? Has a great and renowned fish just passed by in the stream?
Or what if the hummingbird found herself in our small, wooden house quite by mistake? If the coyote found herself in the field looking at a man when she had been following a mole? What if a butterfly and a dragonfly found themselves tracking a scent in the same bit of air, which I also happened to be breathing?
That they should exist at all, and find themselves at Evernia; that I should live at all, and call the same place home. Any meaning I could assign to what happened today would at best meet the gaze of what is already sublimely sacred; for it to have been and to have been witnessed was a miracle.
A gift received.