I caught a hummingbird yesterday. It was one of the most surreal things I've ever experienced. The tiny creature had managed somehow to fly into our shop, into the office, and become trapped between the window pane and the blinds. When I saw it, I immediately thought of how difficult it was going to be to get the little guy out without causing irrevocable damage. As it flew up and down the pane of glass, I slowly raised the blinds doing my best not to catch it's wings or body between the slats. I slid the right side of the window open, and tried unsuccessfully to remove the window screen. The hummingbird moved to the screened side of the window and, to my relief, latched it's little toes (do birds have toes) onto the mesh just as our phone began to ring. I must have sounded crazy talking to the wild bird, telling it to hang on - that I'd be right back. Funny thing was, it did.
I took care of the phone call, and made my way back to the window. I cupped my hands and reached up to grab the bird, but it was barely out of reach - my fingertips just able to brush its tail feathers. Suddenly, the bird released its grip from the window screen and took flight, still trying to get out the window. As I followed it up and down with my cupped hands, I stopped and extended the index finger of my right hand. Immediately, it lit on the end of my finger, and it's flapping wings slowed enough for me to place my left hand over its body. And it was calm. I was so afraid it would start to flap its wings, but it just sat and allowed me to carry it outside.
Aside from it's small feet lightly grasping my finger, it felt as though I held nothing in my hands. I walked over to a bush, set my hands on top of a branch, and took my left hand away. I expected it to immediately take flight, but it did not. It just sat. I was afraid that the experience had been too much for it, but as quickly as the thought entered my head, it raised its wings, and took off for a nearby tree.
I couldn't help but to think that holding a hummingbird is not something many people have experienced, and my uncle remarked that it was probably quite lucky. I decided to do a little research, and I found that a hummingbird is considered a totem animal. It represents energy, vitality, joy, renewal, sincerity, healing, persistence, peace, infinity (it's wings move in the pattern of the infinity symbol), agility, playfulness, loyalty and affection. I'm not terribly superstitious, however, after reading about the hummingbird it got me thinking about what it might mean. It was comforting to think that maybe there was a little more to it than just a bird trapped in our office. Perhaps it was a small message from my grandmother who passed away a little over a month ago - it's time to heal; or something telling me not to give up - be persistent and you will be successful; or perhaps it's a foreshadowing of something wonderful still to come. I may never know what - if anything - a visit from this little totem means, but I'm sure it will be in the back of my mind for a long time to come.