Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rush Hour

Rush hour at our house is 6:45am - 8:00ish. The sky is light, the air is cool. And the hummingbirds line up to bathe in the waterfall. Sometimes six or eight of the tiny birds circle, whistling and diving, fighting to be the first or the only. Everyone gets a turn eventually but the line doesn't move quickly.

When succession is won, the victor loops down to hover in front of the waterfall. There will be a practice dive, maybe three. The final dive must be perfectly calibrated--a swoop ending in a clean slide onto the edge of the flat rock where the water sheets gently. There a bird's claws can anchor. And the less-than-a-penny-weight force of nature will twist and wiggle and flap, tiny wings flinging droplets into the air.

At least once a week I observe rush hour. I sit on the back porch in my pajamas with my coffee and binoculars. Time does not pass. I don't see the changes in the sky or the deer that wander next to the thicket. Until the birds fly on to morning flowers, rush hour is the only reality.

When I get out of my chair, the muscles in my face are stiff from smiling and my mind is as clear as the water falling over the rocks.


  1. How wonderful! I have occasionally seen hummingbirds splash about on a wet leaf after a rain, but never anything like this. I can see how you would lose sense of time.

  2. You are surrounded by SO much beauty. . .


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