Sometimes it is just plain necessary to have one's life interrupted by a diversion in order to put everything in proper order. Joan and I received an unusual belated Christmas gift on New Year's Eve that puts it all in perspective.
I can jokingly refer to myself as "the Birdman of Phoenix, AZ" based on a number of historical events. About twenty years ago I was out for my morning run and saw a mother duck and three ducklings trying to cross a very busy street to get back to their home: a water trap on a golf course. I took the liberty to stop the traffic and let the ducks pass. All of the drivers were grateful for my compassion even though it held them up for a minute or so.
About ten years ago I came home from work and found a hummingbird nest that had fallen out of a tree in my front yard. Two tiny chicks were very cold and very frightened. I called everyone I could find to ask if there was anything I could do and they all said that there was no way to help. Nevertheless, I picked up both chicks and put them in a shoebox, kept them in a warm area and TRIED to feed them with sugar water from an eye-dropper. One of them already had its eyes open and wanted nothing to do with me. The other squawked crazily as soon as I tried to give it the sugar water and kept drinking as much as I could provide. The next morning before dawn I carried the box up into the tree and set it on a branch. Before I got down the mother was there to feed her children. The next few days were more of the same, and on Saturday I got to see both of them fly away.
New Year's Eve was Chapter Three of this book. I found a hummingbird in a corner right outside my front door. I had actually seen it flying around in the atrium the night before and it just couldn't figure out how to fly away. It was so exhausted that I was able to pick it up and it barely moved. We brought it inside, wrapped it in a warm towel and tried to give it sugar water. It took a long time before it started drinking and then finally it started to move. Five minutes later it sprang up and flew all over our house. It eventually figured out that I was trying to help and let me cradle it in my hands. I took it outside and let it go and it went right to a bush to feed.
The point that I am trying to make cannot be put into words. You either know what I mean or you don't. Tomorrow will happen with or without that one hummingbird being dead or alive. I am simply grateful that it is alive, and that I had something to do with it. This was the best belated Christmas gift that I ever got and nobody had to spend a dime.
I pray that the new year will be full of unexpected joy for everyone.