Reverence of Nectar

"Buzzin' on Beauty
And Feasting on Honey" ~ Nahko and MFP

The female hummingbird has changed her behaviour. She now, actively and vigilantly patrols the garden. Propeller-like whirring sounds have replaced the gentle humming of her wings. The humming-birds, who sound more like buzzing-birds these days, flit, buzz, squeak, and fire at each other and any perceived infringement of territory. Even if it is I who walks out the yurt door. Twice now, as I seek to with to join the garden party, this mama bird prepares to dive, stirring up a whirring, as if to say, "who goes there?!" and to see if the intruder requires attack! What had been, until now, a calm sharing of bountiful nectar from a garden of life, morning 'til night, has suddenly shifted overnight.

Why the change?, I wonder. I Can quite imagine that obtaining enough sugar for precious young ones in these cloud-filled days, and rain-drenched nights of gloriously rainy Vermont would be a tremendous task. Perhaps that is why she has become belligerent?

I am not complaining or bemoaning the rain. I love the rain and moist ground. I pray for its abundance to spread like a puddle into all the needed places. I relish the spongey earth under my feet and the spreading of mud between my toes providing cool refreshment. I marvel at roaring streams, and spontaneous waterfalls. It may be hard, I imagine, on the ones seeking to feed their young. Does the days of rain lower the availability of nectar, the hummingbirds food?

Or, perhaps the parents have become nest-weary creatures, and the days of child care has created the equivalent of cabin fever.

Or maybe the weeks of rain, have lowered their resilience and trust in spirited-filled Nature. Perhaps faith in her inherent abundance runs thin, making antiquated fear driven territorial aggressive patterns emerge.

Or maybe they possess an inner clock that switches to High Defense mode mid-July, causing an inner drive to establish territory, to determine assets, and to define terms of engagement : i.e. attack first, ask questions later.

Whatever the cause, whatever the timing, there certainly is a great flurry about the whole business. A grand pace I am not accustomed to experiencing here, or among the circle of garden friends. Whatever the cause, the skies are quite active right now. I hear a daily raising of battle cries! Furious shriekings! (the size of shrill squeaks,) Distinct cries at infractions of justice and signs of intruders. Rattlings of feathered shields! The shakings of sharp spears! Oh my... I feel relief when there is a pause and a little flyer rests long enough to drink. Phew! Relief that he or she is allowing enough peace to receive the nectar they need.

Often after she's drunk her long droughts, this same patroller flies to her nearby resting spot, high enough to scan her domain carefully, swiftly turning her head from side to side, assessing risks or pitfalls, inspecting high and low, north and south for any possible weakness. If, and when, another hummingbirds does arrive, if one should they dare to approach, she meets him, (I think it is always a male...) with dive-bombing arcs, shrieks and buzzing whir. It Is Quite a Spectacle, and probably Quite exhausting.

I try breathing and reminding myself and the sweet little one, "we can share, we can trust, there is abundance. We will find what we need, when we need it." I whisper to her, "it's ok, it's ok, there is always enough. The fear of loss was a lie you were told long ago. You no longer have to worry." Sometimes, Sometimes, I think she hears me.

Where our attention goes, so goes our experience. When we can center on the divine within and reside there, we can experience our relationship to Source as eternal. Or...

We also can be like these hummingbirds, deciding what is "ours" or not "theirs", then vigilantly defend it, (spending lots and lots and LOTS of energy to do so,) against invaders and inveiglers.
Or like the mama-bird, we can spend energy perching ourselves up high to watch outside of ourselves for any infraction of justice! Watching and asking, "Did she do that? Is he crossing the line?"

How exhausting!

Equally, we can also be like the visitor, who attempts to sneak by the watcher to the food, returning over and over, and over, to the same food source, hoping This time, will be different. Hoping This time, a long peace of space for sharing will arrive. When perhaps, moving on to other richer circles is the wisest choice?

And here is one more mystery about it all.
When day turns to night and night to day, when the lines of perspective begin to blur and twilight descends. When colors begin to bleed into one, when the dark night ahead turns the little creatures inward to their own inner life, honoring their own inner divinity, the quiet descends; and male and female each come peacefully to the feeder and drinking freely and deeply. It is true, Each one drinks long droughts before the coming night, and without interference.

Perhaps it is the magic of twilight, of eventide, that offers this gift of unity and faith.

Perhaps it is the presence of the long night that helps us return to an inner presence and reverence. Perhaps the twilight allows for us to stop using our "ever watchful eyes" to tell us what is real, and turn instead to our inner knowing of what our quieting hearts whisper and knows to be True. We can hear the quiet knowing that only by grace and Spirit do any of us make it through this safely, and with enough.

Perhaps it is in turning to this inner presence when we can experience a mutually honoring faith. When a truth of gratitude for this nectar that hold us through the night, multiplies into quiet peace and the gentle knowing of abundance that holds, guides and blesses us.

I hope soon there can be a break in the tempest, that will provide just the right medicine for All of the creatures to cool tempers. Helping all relax in the perfection of Now. Perhaps then, the nest holders and the daring explorers will soon have a chance to drink in ease, spend energy not on fear, spending it instead on flying playfully and freely in bounty. Perhaps the gentle cooling breeze over the ambient puddles that comes now, as another front passes, will lift all of our spirits and hearts to honoring inner presence and faith. Making way for inner richness, resources and providing a sense of sustainability.

I hope so.

In the cup of Time, when all colors bleed into one
when the pink and blue that I perceive now
become a shadow that illuminates

the brilliance of All
when the dark and dawn beckon each other with open arms,

as equal treasures, traveling together on the path,
Then the peace of my Spirit whispers in a language of wonder and abundance

~ me

For more photos see Seasonal photos

And some beautiful quotes ~ Venus muse,

Thank you for your attention that helps to pull these stories to the surface, much love.

3 thoughts on “Reverence of Nectar

  1. A particularly lovely and prescient one, Catherine. I was relieved that nesting house wrens outside my studio window managed to get their young off and flying before the deluge. I appreciate your brilliant consideration of the forces, which, as Bachelard says in The Poetics of Space, do not pass through the circuits of knowledge. They are intuited, and if we're lucky, shared by people like you. Thank you.

    1. Catherine Audette

      Post author

      Oh Thank You for sharing that story. And you are so welcome, I am happy you got to see that miracle too. The life of a bird parent seem so miraculous. How did those sweet house wrens do it? I like trying to imagine their shooing the young out. "Quick, it's now or never!!"
      And thank you for that quote. I do not know that book and am curious to learn more. I love the sharing of all this knowledge.

  2. Tom Deshaies

    How insightful and inspirational this piece is, Catherine! We've also noticed the behavior of hummingbirds and have heard the glorious whizzes, whirrings, and sharp buzzes they make when anyone is near. It's a change from when, not long ago, parents and offspring seemed to take nectar peacefully together. Now, they're such busy, animated characters!

    But, thank goodness evening comes and the everyone calms down, turns to their own quiet inner life, and experiences the Now. It seems a reward for getting through the exhausting cycle of injustice and deficit we fight against. Phew!

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to slow down and ponder all we have around us and just to be present--even if for a moment or two!


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