Hummingbirds — their name comes from the fact that they flap their iridescent wings so fast (about 80 times per second) that they make a humming noise. They can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down.
Using strategically placed salvia, hyssop, and a sugar-water feeder, we’ve intentionally created a hummingbird hideaway. “Build it and they will come,” they said. That’s an understatement. They’ve come all right—in droves—and I’m enamored.
Once I started researching these colorful little creatures, I quickly discovered that they hold a wide variety of symbolism in different cultures around the globe, but there are a few core similarities:
Cairns—we saw them aplenty when we climbed Ben Nevis. We noticed quite a few in Nova Scotia. We spotted them as trail markers in John Muir woods, on Palomar Mountain near the observatory, and now in the shallows of the Boise river—in this case, parents built them symbolically, one cairn each for a family of seven.
Used by people around the globe, cairns — human-made stack of stones — serve many different purposes:
Utilitarian: to mark a path, territory, or specific site
Spiritual: inviting passersby to stop and reflect
Ceremonial: when placed within a circle of enclosing stones
Memorial: when friends and family members voice a fond remembrance of a loved one while adding adding a stone
Symbolic: the uses are endless including love, prayer, and artistic expression
One afternoon while walking along, minding our own business, something registered in my peripheral vision. Willa and I stopped. Looked. And what do you suppose we saw?
Much to our surprise and delight, hidden in a hedgerow we saw a sun-dappled faerie village. And while we haven’t spotted any of its occupants—yet!—I’m confident that with a little patience, one of these up-and-coming dusks we will.
This village brought to mind the gnomes my mom used to have. No more than ring-finger height—including their pointy red hats—you’d turn around in the kitchen and find a rosy-cheeked fellow peeking at you from behind a cookbook; or look over your shoulder in the living room and see the beard and belly of one who hasn’t fully pulled himself behind a collectable on mom’s display hutch.
I love the gift Len gave me to celebrate authorhood:
I’ve been thinking about getting him personalized aviation license plates that feature a small airplane and say “Fly Idaho” as opposed to “Famous Potatoes.” However, rather than 7 characters, they’re limited to 5.
An extremely thoughtful pilot, Len always hands out a “personal access bag” to each passenger prior to flight in the event of air sickness. With that in mind, I think BRFBG would be hysterical!
If you have personalized license plates, what do they say? If you don’t, but had hypothetical ones, what would they say?
Typically when the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is used it’s because someone’s perspective doesn’t quite line up with someone else’s. For instance, one person might say, “Look at my new haircut, don’t you love it?” While the other person is thinking, “Oh my goodness, have you looked in a mirror?”
Then there are times when our perspective matches up beautifully with another person’s. Last week we enjoyed a visit from out-of-state friends. It was their first time in Boise so we gave them a tour—areal and ground level— to show them first-hand what we’ve been bragging about.
We enjoyed every one of their ooh’s and aah’s as they snapped photo after photo and drank in the luscious Boise-area landscape.
What’s your most recent “eye of the beholder” experience?
By the way, if you haven’t dropped by my Facebook author page, please take a moment to check it out. I think it’s pretty cool. Once you visit, if your “eye of the beholder” experience aligns with mine, I hope you’ll click the “like” button.