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Explorations of mind, paths, and life

Mortality & Sand

Posted on May 24, 2009 - Filed Under self reflect

Life is curious, how it can start a day full of pleasure and satisfaction, and quickly twist to offer a different piece of reality and the awareness of how life is so short and fragile. We spent the morning near Del Mar and took to climbing down a cliff (barefoot – OH how I love my toes!) to the ocean waves. The beach was fairly empty, and I collected rocks and let the water caress my feet, permitted the soft sand to suck me into levels of cool cradling groundedness. The water itself sent my entire body into a nice vibration, as it always does… and the salty air filled my lungs with each deep breath I took. I consumed the air like I had been thirsty for an eternity.

California is an amazing place in that it houses such a crazy variety of plants, and colors abound in clumps or spread over vast areas. This orchestra of color is heaven to my eyes, popping out, calling to me to pay attention. I almost forgot to use my camera I was so mesmerized with the flowers. My cheeks are still rosy from the visit to the beach, the smile still fixed on my face.
Later that afternoon I arrived at my mother’s place to hear that a Hummingbird (my favorite of all creatures – besides Gizmo) had slammed into a window and had been laying in the garden for some time. I had asked if anyone had given the little bird any sugar water. Hummingbirds are unique in that their metabolism is so high they don’t survive long if not feeding (at least 5 times their weight) and enter into a state called tupor when resting at night (heart rate slows from 1200+ to 50 roughly). They do pause to digest but are often “hours away from starvation” so feeding is critical. This little guy had spent some time already, unable to fly so we scurried to get some nectar produced. I sat for some time, feeding him from a dropper, hoping to help him get his energy up enough to get going again. With so many onlookers, I didn’t know how to collect my energy and move that into that tiny little creature. I worked to offer some healing energy, but I am just not aware of myself in that way… wishing I knew how to make things better. Little Jennea (5 year old neice) kept an excited and concerned vigil with me as I tried to nourish “Hummy.”
At some point, we found a rescue and hopped into the car to take him… but as we got going I could see that he just wasn’t doing well. I know so much activity is very stressful to birds, and to something that small, it was so hard not to expect a high level of stress. I could sense his stress. I sat in complete awe of that tiny thing, its wings hardly looking capable of flying, that attentive brown eye watching me, little lashes that sparkled each time he blinked. His feathers kept changing color from warm yellows, to green, and deep fuchsia around his head each time he moved. The little tongue like a fine thread that split at the tip. I’ve never been so close to a hummingbird as this, and every ounce of my being wanted him to live. Sadly, not more than 2 miles down the road I announced from the back seat that he just couldn’t hold on and had died. He slowly went limp in my palm until his little eyes lost the dance of life.

Loss is so hard, even if just a moment in the life of another creature. We see the beauty of a being, and in this experience, I am reminded of how short and fragile life really is. When we returned, Little Jennea asked to hold him for some time… sitting in the garden with his limp little body in her hands, imploring him to move. We had a small funeral for Hummy, as he was Jennea’s favorite bird (she stated.) We buried him in the flower garden with a nice rock, handmade stick cross and flowers.

I felt so sad, yet so awed by the experience. Life is short; all we have is to live it with as much fulfillment as we can gather before the next wave comes and moves the sand out from under our feet.

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