Why I call my Hummingbird Sara
by Catherine Maher
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Have you ever wondered what a tiny humming bird thinks about all day? What they trust in? What their instincts tell them? I didn't until recently. But as summer transitions into fall, I find myself studying their behaviors as they hover around my feeders more now than in summer days past.
I can't help but wonder, do they know that change is right around the corner? Because they are a lot more excited, more focused and more determined. They feed every ten minutes, and flit around like buzzing bees. What is it they feel so urgent about? What could cause their casual summer vacation mode to shift overnight into over-drive? Yes, it's nearly fall and they will begin to migrate soon, but why all the frenzied feedings? Why not just fly when it's time?
Looking on, I constantly smile. I think I'm starting to see the method behind their madness. They're not merely adorable little creatures sent to visit me, here for the summer and gone for the fall. These minature two inch birds are amazing, and even though their brains can't be any bigger than the speck on my window sill, that doesn't diminish their ability to read the signs of the times. I know some family members who can't even do that!
Humming birds fly south in groups, but they maintain their individuality through the whole trip. They fly low, just above the tree tops, so that each single bird or mated pair can dart off any time they need to eat again or to rest awhile and conserve energy. Unlike ducks or geese, hummers don't stay conformed to the V, but they do fly in one unit together.
The humming bird can fly left, right, frontwards, backwards, upwards and downwards. they can stop in an instant and float in mid-air before your eyes. Again I smile. They're so awesome! Their wings flap in a figure eight, completing fifteen licks per second, at the rate of fifty flaps per second. That's what keeps them stationary. They can even fly upside down! That's why I always smile at them and that's why I call my visiting bird Sara. She is awesome and I personally bilieve she is very close to being one of God's favorite creations.
For one thing, she hovers, somewhat like the seraphim, which is one of the celestial beings hovering above God's throne. Seraphim have wings above, below and on either side, enabling them to fly and hover in awesome ways. So I nick named her Sara, after the seraphim. The male that she is so devoted to I simply call, Saras' partner. She's my focus. But he is hers. Sara will perch on a limb and spread her tail feathers to show the hidden white tips underneath. At times she will take shutter flights with him, rapidly flying back and forth in correographed motion. If Saras' partner wants her attention bad enough, he will dive in front of her at some key moment all the while whistling at her.
I found out that when fall is approaching, Sara and her partner will eat more and more everyday, stretching their tiny stomaches in the attempt to double their body weight. They want to be at their heaviest on the day they fly south. They're always watching and ready to fly if it should happen to be today.
This reminds me of a bible strory in Matthew. There were ten virgins and each had an oil lamp and were waiting for the groom to arrive. But he was delayed. Five of these girls filled up their lamps with enough oil to get through the night until the groom was to arrive. The other five filled their lamps plus brought extra just in case something unexpected came up. Suddenly at midnight the cry came out that the groom was on his way. Five girls had run out of oil and they had no way to light up their path. They tried to borrow from the girls with extra oil, but were denied. So while they went to buy more oil, the groom arrived and invited the five girls ready to come in and join the wedding feast. The moral of the story is watch and be ready.
That's what Sara and her partner were doing. They were watching and they knew the signs of fall coming. They filled up on the sweet nectar, so that when the flight date came they wouldn't be caught empty. They were still here as of this morning, but tomorrow...who knows. All I do know is that Sara and her partner will be ready to go.
I don't know why, but some people picture God as way up in the sky, even though He can live right inside your heart, if so invited. It's amazing that God can notice when a sparrow or a humming bird falls to the ground. And if He can see a tiny bird, surely He notices me and you when we fall. After all, we're a lot bigger than Sara. Since we have a God who created Sara and you and me, I've decide to be like her. I am committing to live in her carefree mode of vacation, but to always be watchful for signs of change coming. When it does, I'll shift gears and prepare to go. I won't be caught out in the cold, with all my friends and family suddenly gone on to a better place. No, I'll be right in step, one of the wise ones with plenty of nourishment, staying close to my loved ones. I'll be ready to fly, like Sara the humming bird.
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I love it. Well done with so many hidden truths spread through out.