Thursday, May 10, 2007

Small Miracles

The phone rang this morning while I was working away at a new composition, alive with hummingbirds and morning glories.

Katherine, a basket weaver who lives just down the road, invited me to walk over and see a treasure in her garden.

Steve and Katherine's barn has been home to a family of hummingbirds for the last seven years. This year, when the eggs were newly hatched, the mother was killed, and my neighbors tucked the babies, nest and all, into one of Katherine's finely crafted baskets and dashed to a wildlife preserve, where the tiny birds were coddled.

Yesterday, the fledglings returned, and now the basket sways from a branch just below the farmhouse window.

Steve was feeding one of the birds when I arrived, using a small syringe full of liquid that the tiny hummer sipped like it was a flower. Not shy at all, since she's used to being hand fed, the gentle creature lingered on the edge of the basket and flitted around the base of a tree, grabbing gnats with the slender bill while she flew by. I could hardly snap the photos fast enough. What an amazing opportunity!

The experience is all the more wondrous to me because those thin little beaks and flashing wings are being cut into paper this very afternoon. A small miracle in my everyday life.

Thank you, Katherine, for sharing the joy.

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