Two of my favorite things have left me at the same time. I just drove my daughter back to college in California, and the hummingbirds have begun their migration to Mexico. When I returned to Colorado, the buzz both inside and outside the house was gone.
I’ve weathered both of these shifts before. The hummingbirds depart every year, and my nest was empty pre-Covid. Still, I feel a little sad.
Necessary as they are, transitions are fairly difficult for me. I get used to things being a certain way, and that’s the way I like them to stay. The illusion of predictability is a comfort.
But I think I’ve forgotten something. Tucked into every transition is the gift of becoming. Sitting still may be comfortable, but I risk stagnancy. Change gives me the opportunity to discover and to expand. So, I have a choice: I can fixate on losing part of the life I know, or I can move expectantly toward what I will become.
Becoming implies growth, so it is helpful to acknowledge what you are growing from. This can be tricky because it requires a glance back at the past without being too hard on yourself. I recently drew a card titled “Rediscovery” from the Sacred Earth Oracle by Toni Carmine Salerno, Leela J. Williams and Helena Nelson-Reed. Part of the message was, “Be gentle with who you were and strong about who you will become.” I love this idea. It reminds me of how we do this with our bodies when practicing yoga–we find the ease hidden in the effort of each pose. Like the way a hummingbird can appear to hang in the air, looking so delicate while its wings are flapping so vigorously.
Becoming requires effort. We co-create with the Universe by setting intention and then opening ourselves to flow toward what is already there for us. But in order to flow, we’ve got to get into the river! We’ve got to dream who we want to become, then move a little–accept the invitation, learn the new skill, say what needs to be said, etc. Flowing toward abundance is very different from expecting it to drift over to us while we sit passively. It’s also different from struggling to force fit the flow to our expectations.
It’s about efficiently expending energy, and Hummingbird is an excellent teacher. It is said that during migration, a hummingbird’s heart beats up to 1,260 times a minute, and its wings flap up to 80 times a second. So, before starting its journey, the tiny bird becomes an eating machine, gaining 25-40 percent of its body weight. (That’s why my feeders are sucked dry every day in early August!) Then it flies as much as 23 miles a day to reach its wintering grounds. Hummingbirds travel by day and low so they can feed along the way. They use tail winds so they may consume the least amount energy and body fat as they fly.
In my case, efficient energy expenditure requires letting go of the heavy stuff. Like anything I believe my life was before this very moment and any worry I have about my life after this very moment. Again, Hummingbird teaches. It carries nothing with it on its journey!
Hummingbird as a spirit animal symbolizes lightness of being. Also, the sweetness of life, playfulness, resilience and adaptability. One if its messages is that you can go anywhere you need to go–your only obstacle is yourself. What beautiful energies to float in as I become.