Life as a Hummingbird
April 28, 2014 § 3 Comments
Last post, I mentioned that I am filling my recovery days here in Cusco with bags of cookies and birdwatching. One momentarily fills my tummy, the other my head. It’s two days now that I perch on my windowseat, with the window open wide, looking out onto the balcony and courtyard. Right out front, there is a colorful tree with lots of flowers, its branches practically reaching into my window. And all morning, there are a couple of hummingbirds that flutter around.
After a few hours of observing these two birds, I realized that I am just like them. Maybe not as blue and feathery and long-beaked, but we move the same way. A couple of brief seconds with each flower, filling ourselves on the sweet nectar, then zooming away to the next one. Flower, after flower, after flower, after flower; hour, after hour, after hour, after hour. Occasionally, a few minutes to sit and relax, and then back to the feast.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about and attempting to decipher my life and why I do what I do (whew). And this was a perfect illustration.
I couldn’t figure out why I have had perfect situations in life (if you know me, I can elaborate and say that I am referring to Austin, before the move, and to Monza, before leaving), in which I was surrounded by everything that I needed to be happy, and had people that made me feel good and special, and felt inspired and fulfilled, and alive. And then, I just packed my bags and left. No reason, no explanation. And as I was walking away, I was kicking myself, telling myself that I am being stupid and- why the hell am I going away? Was I getting to comfortable? Was I getting bored? Was something missing? Nope.
Was I merely incapable of staying in one place for too long, no matter how perfect it was?
Isn’t that what these birds are doing?
Maybe I see it a little bit clearer now, and can feel a little bit better about it. It’s like this:
Life is big. It’s vast. It’s infinite. It’s rich; it’s filled with so, so much. There are endless colors and tastes and smells and horizons and sounds. Even if you were to walk for a lifetime, you would not see every corner. Even if you were to talk to every person on the planet, you would not learn everything.
I could never justify staying in one place and experiencing its beauty to the end. Perhaps there was a little bit of nostalgia for what didn’t end yet, or the resignation that one day it would change into something else, or the fear of losing the present. But, more than that, there was the knowledge, the conviction, that there are hundreds of thousands of other beautiful flowers out there, all of them still full and dripping with their sweet juice.
On one hand, it’s been great, finding myself in these situations through the past couple of years in which, I have no doubt, I could have stayed in forever and died happy. Except for the fact that I would have stayed there forever, and I would not have seen all of the other beautiful things out there in life. And that is why I left. Not necessarily to walk away, but to walk toward something else. I already know, for I have experienced, those perfect situations, and it was beautiful, and I loved it, and it was exactly what I needed, and it was difficult and confusing to go away.
But, how many other flowers are out there, in the world?
And I am hungry to try all of them.
That’s why I cannot stay in one place, commit myself to one dream, dedicate myself to one person, no matter how ideal it is. For better or for worse. My wings are beating so fast that sometimes I don’t know if I am moving or staying put, but it doesn’t take much to jot to another point and start over, and I know that it is going to be just as satisfying as before, in one way or another. Sometimes we come back, but then we always leave again.
And so we flutter around all day like crazy creatures, back and forth, up and down, going where the temptation and attraction is strongest in the moment. Logic or not. And, as exasperating as this all-over-the-place dance can be at times, it’s also pretty filling, and, in its own way, just right.
And, without making any sense, it makes perfect sense to us.