In you is all of Heaven
Every leaf that falls is given life, in you
Each bird that ever sang… will sing again, in you. —A Course in Miracles
I’m still reveling in my experiences last week with the Harlem Gospel Choir. More to come about that, and soon, but I first need to find adequate words with which to express their shimmering magic.
In the meantime, how about a hummingbird hatchling update?
When last we visited their nest together, the siblings were doing flight simulations. Four days later, on February 19th, I witnessed something rare and wonderful.
Walela’s babies been riding the wind currents all day, hanging ten on the edge of their nest. Whew, scary! If the video’s jumpy in a few spots, it’s because I was more than a little nervous. But when the winds died down, the birds were safely ensconced in their nest, seemingly unruffled by their wild ride.
Later that same evening, I climbed our rickety wooden ladder, cell phone snugged to my ear so I could talk to my sister Sheryll while also snapping a few last pictures before nightfall. Quite the balancing act, I must say, but boy howdy, was it worth the effort!
They were playing a game of do-so-do on their cottony perch, when suddenly…well, see for yourself. The bigger hatchling hovered over its sibling for just a few seconds, propelled itself backward and then soared on tiny wings over the red tile roof that sheltered it, from egg to fledge, in Walela’s nest.
The next morning, our new fledgling had nestled into the birdbath beyond my kitchen window, about 15 feet from its former home. Sheryll called it Sunshine, and that seems fitting for this tiny bird with shimmery feathers. (I took this next sequence of pictures through my front window, so they’re a bit blurry. But oh, are you as happy to see him flourishing as I am?)
Walela’s nurturing her baby while it gets acclimated to life beyond the nest, as mamas are wont to do.
Over the next several days, she’ll show Sunshine how to forage for food and survive on its own in the wild.
Motherhood is hard work!
Hovercraft mama that she is, Walela also watches over the hatchling that remains in the nest, preening its pinfeathers and practicing flight maneuvers on its own.
Here’s what it looked like, the day after its sibling fledged. Lonely, you think?
Walela visits often. I took these snapshots yesterday morning.
We’ve since decided to call her Jennifer (“Jenny”), in memory of Reverend Jennifer Durant, who inspired many, living with ALS as she did–with a featherlight spirit and a heart filled with joy.
She still has a few pinfeathers tucked into her tail, but I suspect Jenny will be taking to the skies sometime today or tomorrow.