The Hummingbird

I recently celebrated my 37th birthday.

Depending on what time of day you ask me, and whether or not my children are bouncing around me, and how much my back is aching at that moment, I will respond that this either feels very old or very young. I celebrate both answers. There is so much life left to live, and I have gathered the wisdom of all of the years before me.

On the morning of my birthday, I decided to go out for a walk / jog.

When I opened my front door, I was startled to be greeted by a hummingbird, zipping past about a foot from my face. He stopped, hovered, we acknowledged one another, and he darted on.

How delightful it was, I remember thinking, to be shocked into this moment by such a beautiful experience - to be celebrating my birth through awakening to just this moment....again.

I continued about my walk, returned to my family, tripped over the laundry I was letting pile up in in rejection of work that day, and set about enjoying a beautiful Indiana day.

But that encounter didn't leave my thoughts.

A few days later, I looked up the spiritual meaning for Hummingbird.

(I don't feel that there is some outside force, guiding an animal into my path with a message to send me. But I do feel that there are always insights to be gained into life, new perspectives to be had. And if there is a cultural or traditional message associated with a being I happen to encounter, I know there will be benefit to me in considering that message!)

Among other things, Hummingbird brings messages of "lightness of being", "presence", and "bringing more playfulness into life". Think about the way the hummingbird moves - quickly, lightly, flitting from place to place in a way that is so delightful to observe.

I wanted to remember these messages, to incorporate them into my new year.

So as I do, I created a reminder.


12" x 12", acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

"Hummingbird" sits on my fireplace mantle for now, reminding me to breathe a bit easier, lighten up, not get so attached to the seeming heaviness of everyday life. (As I type this, my kids are in the other room making very loud spitting noises at one another. Lighten up, lighten up....)

I invite you to consider the messages that this perspective might bring.

What would it look like to be more playful in your life? What would it FEEL like?

Let me know in a comment below. Through discussion is how we connect to one another in this vast online world.

Here's to our present playfulness.