Monday, August 29, 2011

Refilling the Feeder

My hummingbird is happy for the change…in me.
A newly cleaned and freshly filled reservoir hangs, brimming with cool nectar, in what feels like September’s first fall breeze. I’d gotten lazy in my tending of the small, plastic globe suspended from the eave of the upstairs front porch and blamed, instead, the awful August heat for the mildew-blackened holes and clouded liquid of the neglected hummingbird feeder.

The demands of summer ran away with me. Carefree hours spent on the porch watching hummingbirds dart in for long drinks or perch quietly within firing range and zoom back around in defense of the plastic flower soon dwindled to nothing. And as the birds themselves disappeared in my neglect, so did my desire to spend time porch-sitting.
Before long, a faded and revoltingly dirty (and unhealthy) feeder was the only hint that remained to suggest that this had once been a place of great joys.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few days with a friend.
The hum and whir of birds outside her doorstep began at dawn and continued through the day until dark. Back and forth they’d travel by the dozens to the sizable reservoir—hers always fresh and full—hanging near a copper bucket tucked and fastened beneath the eave.

Flowers filled her yard.
As you’d expect from one whose life has been largely devoted to caring for and nurturing even these tiniest of winged creatures, many plants had been chosen as natural nectar sources. But the artist’s eye and poet’s soul had gone beyond to create a beauty so lively and rich, that it remained after dark, afloat on the air of a night lit only by full moon and fireflies.

And I drank it in.

And remembered the places and stories that had first registered those feelings of connectedness, the inspiration that flows with her words from the page.

The friendship that I can only describe as a ball of yarn--
cords wrapped this way and that, intertwined one with another,
until I can no longer tell where it began.
I only know that, with time, it has gotten bigger.

Dropped back into my daily routine from this refresher of sorts, I began with an overhaul of the feeders.
After all, I know what it is to be thirsty.

Chet Baker

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Mary said...

Please take good care of them hummingbirds, Ms. Nina. They are counting on you.

This post leaves me with a huge sigh and smile. I missed you.


KGMom said...

Lovely lovely lovely--just lovely.
The photos are stunning.
The tribute to friendship and friend are perfect.
I am like a hummingbird--thanks for the full clean feeder.

Catbird said...

What Mary and KG Mom said. Beautiful, and beautifully put.

Guy said...

Hi Nina

A lovely post.


giggles said...


Julie Zickefoose said...

Thank you, Nina. You must know how much I love this post, even though you can't see the tears.

A Colorful World said...

Happy hummingbirds! I too let my feeder get a little neglected, and then guiltily filled it again! We have woodpeckers, and tiny little birds that are not hummingbirds, and even purple finches, trying to get nectar from the feeders, too!