Experience Life

Be Well Be Happy
Typography

The other morning a hummingbird came near. I was sitting outside at a table in the center of which is a plant with clusters of yellow and white flowers. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of something coming near, then in full view and going toward the flower, a hummingbird blur. It came and went quickly.

In the afternoon, I was sitting in the same place and less than about 15 inches away from my face to the yellow and white flowers came the hummingbird again with its soft green coloration on its back—so small and gentle even though it was whizzing to keep flying as it “beaked” each little blossom.  It was not moving as quickly as earlier so I was able to see it very clearly. I held my breath, didn’t move and watched in awe at this unusual occurrence.

I had several moments of enjoying the experience. I couldn’t move to get my phone to take a photo to show everyone. I was in the moment of the experience and I have the option of sharing the experience, telling the story—very different than taking the photo opp. In this column, we’ve talked about slowing down and being in the moment. Experiencing events— using all of the senses—and later relating them in a story keeps our minds and hearts engaged.  We often run to get our phones to take a photo to share via text or social media, but we are missing out on the experience when we do so. It’s more like an observation or exposure to something rather than a full awareness and full participation in the event. 

The experience also inspired me to read about the symbolism of this special bird. They have meaning in many different cultures. Many see the hummingbirds as symbols of hope and bringers of love, good luck and joy. How great to be visited twice with this message!

On that same day in early evening, I went for a low tide walk and saw the sandpipers furiously running to and from at the shoreline. For as far back as I can remember, I have always joyed in this sight and never tired of watching them. I once read a piece on the meaning of sandpipers: they are at the threshold between earth and ocean constantly moving back and forth as if they are grounded in the physical earth and at the same time at the edge of the infinite ocean. 

I took my time that day to follow them and enjoy the experience of seeing them. My phone was at home so no impulse to take a photo – just be there with them on that spectacular evening. Experiencing my thoughts and feelings, what the sandpipers mean to me, and laughing out loud at the way they all speed in unison. And I thought, this is life, this is living. 

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be grateful. May you be compassionate.  May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace. 

By Paulette Mancuga 

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