I saw my first hummingbird in Austin. As long as I’ve lived here, I haven’t seen a one. And I would have missed it if I didn’t open my eyes and sit still for a moment.
Last night was a love letter from Austin to all of its residents. I don’t know if it was the full moon, the breeze cooling the sweat on my face, or practicing yoga under the big Texas sky; but I felt more grounded than I have in a very long time.
Through my yoga practice, I’ve developed a stronger self-awareness. So it’s fitting that in my moment of feeling grounded, in the midst of 60 fellow yogis, I looked up to see where I could grow. I birds silhouetted against the light blue sky, I saw trees with thick branches, and then I saw it. A little hummingbird resting on a branch- its tiny body framed by leaves.
I paused my practice and focused on the bird. Thankfully, we were lying on our mats. I opted out of backbends, and opted into a little bird watching. I remembered my mom and dad making hummingbird juice and filling the feeders at home. I thought about watching the jeweled birds flitting to each feeder to get their fill of sugar water, and how I never grew tired of seeing them drink.
When the hummingbird flew away, I decided to get the glass hummingbird feeder I’ve been debating about. I also decided to pause more often and enjoy my life, as I enjoyed my practice last night.
I know I fly through my to-do lists and social engagements the way hummingbirds travel from flower to flower, pausing for a few moments here and there. And to be real, I probably won’t change my behavior too much because there are so many amazing things that I’m doing, learning, actively enrolled in, that I. Can’t. Stop… for too long.
But I can pause on a branch somewhere to appreciate the moment. I will open my eyes to the love and joy, and the incredible things I’m doing. I will sit still with a friend, because without them, none of this would matter.
What big things can you learn from a little hummingbird?