Mary Birk’s Blog: Visit From A Hummingbird

So, I’m weeding in the backyard this afternoon, talking on headphones to my sister, Liz, while David is grilling chicken and asparagus. A year ago today was Mike’s funeral and afterward the celebration of his life here at the house and backyard he loved. We released 99 balloons to Heaven that day. (It was supposed to be a hundred balloons, but one balloon didn’t make it out of the living room. It still hangs in my office, next to the yellow goggles and Goofy hat he wore for years.)

Mike’s lovely fiancee, Amanda, visited a spiritualist after Mike passed away. She told Amanda we should watch for hummingbirds as signs of Mike’s continuing presence in our lives. I was a bit skeptical. We’ve lived here for thirty-three years, and never had one hummingbird. None, despite faithfully putting out the feeder every year and having tons of hummingbird-friendly flowers.

Last summer, on a sad day (though I try not to have to many of those), I looked out my kitchen window. At the never-used feeder, a lovely, delicate, hummingbird hovered. Just one, and just that once. My heart smiled.

Then today, just a few feet from where I was working, a hummingbird appeared, dancing in and out of the lilac blossoms. Again, I’m smiling.

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