Everyday Words

May 28, 2006

Last week when I went to put my key in the lock of my front door, I heard this humming and bumping noise. Looking up I saw a hummingbird flying and hitting the skylight over and over again; the light confused him as he thought it was a way out.

Worried that he’d die of exhaustion on one of our hottest days, I ran into the flat where I luckily had some bright red tissue paper. I made a mixture of sugar water in a large bowl which I placed out on the stoop above the tissue paper, hoping that this would somehow lure the bird down.

It did.

A few days later, the same thing happened. Again, I got the tissue paper and water to lure the bird down.

Again it worked.

Today when I came home, once again the same hummingbird was caught flying around the skylight, trying to get out. I no longer had the tissue paper and I didn’t know what else to do. How many times should I save the bird from the same problem? How would I explain to that bird to come down and never go back? It can’t understand. How often am I to get involved in the same issue and worry myself over its fate?

I decided that sometimes one shouldn’t get involved and let things happen.

When I came out later I didn’t hear the buzzing and looked down. There was the hummingbird still on the ground. So beautiful and intact as I think it died of exhaustion fighting the same problem for so long.

I picked up the little hummingbird and took him down to the garden. I dug a small grave, buried him and said a little something {I’m not well versed in hummingbird burials}. I felt a little sadness over the whole thing but decided that sometimes one has to stand back and let nature take its course. With birds, with people.