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:
Quite some time ago I received a beautiful Papyrus card. This delicate work of art contained the following legend:
“Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy, and celebration. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning, and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”
I love it when we’re gifted with a hummingbird sighting. The weight of these tiny creatures depends on the species:
The smallest hummingbird is the bee hummingbird which weighs less than 2 grams.
The largest hummingbird is known as the giant hummingbird and it weighs between 21 and 23 grams.
I remember a heated debate in school we had about the 21 Grams Theory and then many years later, the opening lines of the 2003 movie “21 Grams” with Sean Penn:
“They say we all lose 21 grams at the exact moment of our death…everyone. Twenty-one grams—the weight of a stack of 5 nickels, the weight of a chocolate bar, the weight of a hummingbird.”
The next time I see a hummingbird it may well remind me of a soul in flight…
A flash of harmless lightning
A mist of rainbow dyes
The burnished sunbeams brightening
From flower to flower he flies
— John Banister Tabb