Big life, little hummingbird

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.

My teacher last night.  

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?