A very strange thing happened over the weekend. It was the kind of event that is too hard to ignore. It’s like the universe was sending a little postcard and there was no return address. The message came via hummingbird express.
Before I proceed, a question. Have you ever tried to photograph a crazed hummingbird who was desperately trying to find its way out of a garage? I didn’t think so. With my modest camera it was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to capture. Food doesn’t move. Hummingbirds always move. Especially when trapped.
Since the weather warmed, we’ve had two entertaining hummingbirds visit our backyard feeder throughout the day. Over the weekend, I suppose one of them decided to try a shortcut through our garage to the yard. But once it was in, it couldn’t find a way out.
Watching this crazy bird frantically flying back and forth across the ceiling of our garage, with very brief pauses on the bicycles suspended from the ceiling, I concluded that hummingbirds usually fly at a limited altitude. At that height, he was above the raised garage door and could only see walls and not the large, expansive opening right below. See the bird perched on the left tire in the photo below. It was completely clueless that the door was open and waiting.
This was terribly distressing, not just for the bird, but for Joe and me. We pictured this bird buzzing back and forth until his battery finally gave out after days of missing the large exit just below. We really didn’t want to walk out one morning and find this poor bird expired on the roof of a car. Especially after losing a pet just a few days earlier.
I placed some of our unplanted, bright red annuals just outside the garage door, hoping to lure him outside. He didn’t give them a half of a glance. Next, I put on my bright red jacket and stood outside waving like a crazy person hoping to grab his attention. This bird simply could not see beyond his limited altitude.
Finally, Joe and I came up with the idea to close the garage door and open the side window of the garage. This required that Joe remove the screens and crank the windows as far as they would open. The plan worked within minutes.
The bird returned the next day, and became locked again in his limited perspective until we repeated the door closing and window opening, screen removal process.
Happily he hasn’t entered the garage since then.
But, you have to wonder… what patterns have we become locked in our own lives that keep us from seeing the big wide world outside. Patterns that keep us trapped in a negative, futile cycle that could lead to a very unhappy ending? Patterns, that if we simply changed our perspective just the tiniest few inches, we’d find our way out to a better place to spread our wings? And is someone opening a side window for us if we’d only just pay attention?