Saturday was an odd day. Sometimes I felt content, finishing up a chore, pulling a few weeds, wiling away some time reading on the porch. At other times, I was unsure what to do. I moved from task to task, not getting much done, feeling uneasy–sort of nebulously stressed. I couldn’t put my finger on the pulse of that stress, but was pretty sure it was spelled s-c-h-o-o-l. I was aware of so much poised to begin, so much ending and felt unable, or perhaps unwilling, to address either. At least not yet.
The weather mirrored some of my confusion. The air was cool, but the sun was quite warm. As my daughter put it, “These days it’s fall in the morning and summer by afternoon.” Or fall in the shade and summer in the sun.
At one point, I lingered on the porch, slightly chilled when the breeze picked up or the clouds shadowed me. Too warm when the sun blazed. I read and read, escaping into the twists and turns of my latest mystery. Ultimately, lulled by a stretch of warm and sunny, and dulled by a few restless nights weighted with worries, I dozed, upright in the Adirondack chair.
When I woke, I was confused.
What was that?
A loud whirring, buzzing filled my ears.
I turned toward the sound, opening my eyes groggily. Then more quickly.
Right next to me, right by my head, was a hummingbird!
Her feathers glistened green and her delicate feet dangled below her. She was so close that I could feel the air from her wings brush against my cheek. I watched her, not daring to move. She hovered about my head, darting forward and back, from one side to the other a few times. Then suddenly, with no warning, she swiftly flew off, disappearing behind the house.
What was that about?
I looked around. I wasn’t near the feeder. I wasn’t wearing red. There were no flowering plants next to me. In front of me, the garden blooms shone in the bright light, primarily white and yellow tones with touches of fading pink. Fruit hung red and heavy on the bending branches of the apple tree. The sky was a brilliant blue, with a few pillowy clouds. Birds flew in to the feeder, chattering, and then flew away again. The sun still warmed my skin, but fall nipped at the edges, waiting in the shadows.
I felt a surge of deep appreciation for the beauty that surrounded me but found no explanation for the hummingbird’s visit.
I sat still for quite some time. Waiting. But she did not return. Perhaps she was merely passing through. Perhaps she had already begun her lengthy migration to warmer climes. Perhaps she too was unsettled by the coming changes.
Slowly I reopened my book and retreated again. Both part of the world and separate from it. In a sort of voluntary stasis. Not quite ready, yet, to fully launch into the next stage of the coming adventure.