My garden is in the stage of summer slowly dying into autumn. I follow the path in search for inspiration and tiny moths bombard me. They dance around my head making me dizzy. They swarm to a nearby patch of marigolds. They hop from flower to flower drinking in the nectar until they seem drunk on it’s sweetness, then they leap into the air whirling and twirling like leaves in the wind, trying to impress a mate to complete its life cycle.
I want to continue my search in nature’s wonder for a spark to ignite my imagination, but fear has joined me on the path. Fear wants me to get back to business. Fear wants everything to run smoothly and demands me to do everything perfectly. Fear reminds me of all the people who are counting on me to do my share. “But I am hungry for inspiration and I long to create a story” I argue.
I am about to give into fear’s demand and give up on my quest when a small jewel of a bird hums past me and takes a sip of the sweet juice from the nearby feeder. It dips its head twice before taking off like a helicopter, hovering for a moment than disappearing. I noticed that I was holding my breath and I let it out slowly. The cleansing breath has subdued fear for a moment and I finally can hear myself think. I let the quietness wash over me until I hear the buzz of another hummingbird. As I watch it dine, I feel the stress fade away and I can feel the words lining up and a story taking shape. “Yes my little friend, I need this as much as you need that nectar”.
My feather muse leaves its perch and hovers in mid-air; he lets out a battle cry chirp as two smaller hummingbirds threaten to drink from the feeder. They circle each other readying themselves for war. I watch them spar with their tiny sword beaks and chase each other around the garden. I have read that the hummingbirds need frequent feedings because they use so much energy in flying and this time of year they need to fatten up to migrate. Why would they waste so much energy fighting with each other when there is plenty of food?
They fly around me; their beautiful feathers shine with brilliant colors as they move in the sunlight. With each twist and turn each one shines with it’s own kind of radiance, a jewel dancing on the wind in a perfectly orchestrated ballet. It is a story of nature and how a creature will fight for what he believes he needs for survival.
One of the birds flies to where I am standing and directs his angry chirps at me. I imagine him saying, “What are you looking at, punk!” I laugh at this image and answer the little gangster, “Are you going to fight me? It’s my garden and my feeder.” The war ends as quickly as it began. The feeder sways gently in the breeze and the pegs are bare of patrons. All that energy used and still no one has eaten.
I look around at the fading garden and I can see why nature is in a state of urgency, the season is changing and there is much to do. This time of year is busy for us humans too. It seems that we go from slow summer days to fast and furious fall. Our schedules are filled and there is little room for leisure activities like searching for creativity in the garden. I find myself sending up curt prayer to God. I shake my fist and chirp angry words at him as if it is his fault. I can almost hear him say, “You are going to fight me? It’s my garden and I have provided for you.” I smile at this irony and I take a sip from the inspiration placed before me. I allow it to trickle down into my soul where it will be use to color my world with words. The morsel of dancing hummingbirds will forever live on the page and I will snack upon it when I can’t convince fear to allow me to have a full-course meal of inspiration.
It is energy well spent.