Hummingbirds’ wings beat at an astonishing rate of forty to ninety times per second. They are birds on steroids, darting with precision from one flower to the next to drink nectar. A friend of ours, who made a nature documentary, showed me a clip of a hummingbird pausing in mid-air. His camera takes one thousand frames per minute. What a mind-boggling discovery to learn that even hummingbirds pause! This knowledge has me wondering: If, in the rush hour of ornithological flight, even the fastest wings stop, shouldn’t we humans take a hint? Cameras, cars, and email interfere. Nature offers balance.
During the summers, when our sons were young, I imposed an hour and a half rest period. Every day after lunch we picked up a book, our journal, or the cat, and found a quiet place to relax. Sometimes we sat together on our porch and watched thunderheads rolling towards us from the south. The temperature would drop a few degrees just minutes before it rained, wind ruffling leaves like a kitten’s paws.
My current life does not accommodate anything close to an hour and a half rest period, but even ten minutes is helpful. Nature has many lessons to teach us if we see the metaphors. Even in the busiest of times I remember the hummingbird’s pause, mid-flight. It reminds me to stop and take even a small break, every day.
What reminders cause you to pause and relax?
Here’s a poem for you that I wrote about Pausing.
Listening to Pause
Pause has become my friend.
She sits down next to me
And is all ears.
My sister brook burbles sweet nothings.
My auntie ocean relaxes her tide.
My brother breeze tickles the first tips of green
Before slipping over the hill.
In the safe cave of my cousins
I am still.
I hear my father calling from the door,
I hear my uncle laughing from a cloud,
I hear my mother coaxing a crocus,
“Lift your wings, you pretty thing.”
Pause allows me to “be” the crocus.
She jumps down inside
My open palms of petals
And looks around.
She laughs and says:
“There is nothing to see
But the thump, thump
Of your flowering heart.”
I ask how we can see sound,
And she says, “It’s all around.
You have eyes in your ears.
You can hear too.”