June 3, 2007
I wish my heart was a bouquet of red hibiscus
so that you could find nourishment there.
Yesterday I had bad bus karma on my way to the UBC Botanical Gardens. It seemed to take forever to catch a 41 UBC bus, and the fancy new glass bus shelter was frying me like a bug under a magnifying glass. Then when got stuck in construction in the hot sun with the fumes of fresh asphalt wafting in the windows. The bus was crowded and I was cranky. By the time I arrived at the gardens I was muttering obscenities under my breath like a madwoman.
The barn swallows changed all that. Two smart little swallows in iridescent sartorial splendor inspected me from their perch on a chain link fence. As I passed through the garden entrance, my foul mood lifted as though it was a coat I removed as I entered their home. My first discovery was a fragrant "Kim" lilac bush that does well in the Pacific Northwest. It was full of all sorts of bees. Next, I spent some time in the Physick Garden taking photos of bumblebees in Columbine and Foxglove.
Since it was such a hot day I went back into the forest garden to find a bench in the shade. I followed a tan and brown bird with a voice like a drop of water falling into a stone pool, and sat down to listen and enjoy the sounds around me. Suddenly, I heard a hummingbird buzz to my left, and lo and behold a tiny tawny Anna hummingbird sat on a branch a foot from my head inspecting my red UBC Farm baseball cap. We looked at each other intently. It's little body shook with every beat of it's fierce tiny heart. I asked for a blessing that my spirit would feel as light as my friendly hummingbird. I was tempted to pick up my Nikon camera, but I'm glad I decided to leave this encounter unmediated by technology.
The hummingbird lifted up and flew all around my red hat looking for nectar. It even hovered right under the bill of the cap right in front of my eyes, then zipped off out of sight. I was so flabbergasted I cried tears of amusement and joy. What a gift! What a comic little piece of interspecies theatre. Hmmmm...I guess next time I'll have to wear a hummingbird feeder hat! I had one photo left on my camera, so I took a picture of the bench that had provided the stage for our performance.