Thursday, June 07, 2012
What else am I missing?
I've been thinking about hummingbirds. Such cute little feisty creatures hardly bigger than a dragon-fly that I court all summer long. I spend a portion of my carefully-budgeted grocery money on sugar for them; I plant flowers I hope they'll like, including a trumpet vine that some folks told me I would regret ever planting; the risk was worth it, I figured, if it drew hummingbirds to my domain. I scrub feeders and mix nectar in the early morning hours because I want to keep them happy.
Until we moved back here behind the barn, I never gave a thought to hummingbirds. The only ones I ever saw were the pathetic little corpses hanging from the electric fence where they'd been electrocuted.
Those were the only times I even gave hummingbirds a second thought until we moved back here behind the barn. They were here all the time. I just didn't see them until I attained sixty-four years of age. My cousin Gerald never knew hummingbirds existed until he was in his seventies.
But then, they are tiny creatures, easily missed.
What about the orioles? They are comparatively large birds; the males are bright orange. How could I not have seen them? When the first oriole showed up here at a hummingbird feeder a couple of years ago, I didn't have any idea what it was. Now I see several of them every day, and I recognize their loud songs even if they are in a treetop far from the house.
This leads me to wonder what else I have been missing in the world around me. Orioles and hummingbirds were here all the time, I just didn't see them. What wonderful thing will I miss today simply because I'm not looking for it?
I don't have a lot of years left to discover new adventures, new horizons. I had better keep my eyes and ears open lest I miss a blessing. Life is full of surprises.