Let me tell you about hummingbirds.
My mother loved them. She loved all birds but especially hummingbirds. She was fascinated by their speed, their ability to hover, their amazing talent for drinking bright red sugar water from a feeder hung by her office window.
She bought binoculars so she could really study them as they hovered and ate. She would log in a calendar when a new mom would build her nest in our yard. Those nests were always low enough to make Charlsie very nervous. Y’know… cats. Hunters. She worried a lot about those babies and their mommies. But everything always turned out just fine, as always in life.
I remember mom saying before she died that I would always know she was telling me, “You’re on the right path,” when a hummingbird would come to me like those families always came to us in our backyard. “Momma,” I said, as I held her hand, “You imagine me being on the right path a LOT. It’s not like hummingbirds are rare.” She gave me a great “yes, and…” to it, though: “When the hummingbird stops her wings, you’ll know I have something to say.”
Those who watch hummingbirds know they rarely stop their wings. It’s one of the reasons they need so much calorie-dense food. Always hovering. Always humming.
And of course, as you would expect, I experience a LOT of hummingbirds PARKED. Like today. Angela showed me the hummingbird nest outside her window. I had seen it on Instagram so I knew there were two babies and sure enough, during my new yoga practice together today, there parked momma. She stayed there for at least half of my stay.
Starting yoga at this point in my mind-body journey is humbling. Six months ago, I was at pole or pilates five to eight classes a week. My muscles were CUT. I was a beast and I took great pride in how my old-lady body was shaping up after decades of abuse and neglect. But I wasn’t doing any inner work. I’d gotten sober, I’d dropped 60 pounds on Whole30, I’d changed my life on so many levels simultaneously and what I hadn’t done was ask my emotions to show me where they’d been ignored. Where they’d been stored. Where they’d been disciplined into not really existing.
My body had to break to get me to pay attention to my heart, my spirit, anything other than my overpoweringly strong brain as a means of dealing with life, with trauma, with stress.
And apparently with my sweet mother’s endorsement.
Thank you, momma. I hear you.