The Hummingbird’s Gift

This post was written for inclusion in the Soulful Summer Creative Writing Challenge hosted by . As bloggers, we love to write. But in blogging, we focus on informative or opinion style pieces, which have a more direct, conversational tone. Creative writing challenges us in many ways and allows us to pull out all of our literary tricks to spin a riveting, humorous or heartfelt story, and express a part of deeper self that we may not frequently share.

The Hummingbird’s Gift

The morning sun is taking the chill out of the air, but I still cup the mug for warmth. I look up, close my eyes, and feel the brightness bounce off my eyelids. I savour each bite of my breakfast in silence, testing myself to stay in the moment. The smell of grass and flowers is heightened by evaporating dew. Waves lap against the shore, leaves whisper. The whirr of a hummingbird: the sickening “thwack.”

Artwork by Diane -

Artwork by Diane –

I move towards the sound and see the still form on the concrete. Not knowing if he is dead, but knowing he soon will be if left in the shadows, I reach for him. Careful not to damage his gossamer wings, I shift him into the palm of my hand. As I bring him into the sunlight, the black dots of his eyes blink rapidly. His chest flutters manically. A thought enters my mind as I hold this fragile creature.

“You will not die cold and alone,” I whisper.  “I will be here with you.”

I begin to sing Om Namah Sivaya, a chant that has been sung for thousands of years. It is a call to my higher power to remove the obstacles to my spirituality: a goal that has brought me to this place.

I place the tip of my finger against his chest to reassure him that he is safe: he can rest and recover. Or, if he is to die, then to die in the warmth of the sun, caressed by my voice, and soothed by my touch. He is lying on his side. Silent words form within me. Please do not be afraid of me. Listen to the sound of my song. I mean you no harm.

As I continue to sing, I hear a tremble in my voice. I am holding a hummingbird in my hand. A hummingbird. In my hand. His torso is the length of my pinkie finger; his head the size of a nickel; his beak, a darning needle; his claws, the tip of a pencil. I can see each and every feather. Amongst the greyish-brown are astonishing flashes of colour: the vivid patch of green on his torso, fuchsia on the side of his face. But it is his wings that draw me in. I have never seen a hummingbird’s wings that have not disappeared in a whir of motion. His wings are completely still.

In that moment, I realize that I am at peace with whatever happens. I am not jumping ahead in my mind, as I so often do. No, for a change, my mind is quiet. I am not trying to direct the outcome with my mind. I am not praying for him to live. I am singing Om Namah Sivaya from a peaceful place, an observant place. My singing is a gift I am giving this creature: to be with him in the moment, however this moment will end.

I continue to sing, but my hands start to shake from holding still for so long. I shift ever so slightly. In response, his body starts to roll. My breath catches. And then, he is standing.  He is standing! I can feel his claws find traction on the palm of my hand. He is facing me, looking at me. Now he looks more alive than dead. My voice falters. I stop my signing and find myself saying, “You can go now. You have given me your gift. You can go.”

There is a catch in my voice. I am feeling such strong emotion, emotions I have no words for. The place is too deep, too unfamiliar. The old me, the who tries to control outcomes out of fear, has been stilled. I am finally grasping that the outcome — where the path ends — is of no importance. Trying to look ahead only distracts me from experiencing the moment, in all its fullness.

But he does not leave. He sits and looks at me, blinking. Not frantic, just blinking. Only seconds have elapsed since I stopped singing but I realize that he needs me to continue, to give him the gift of my warmth and protection. So I find myself whispering, “You can stay and rest. I will sing to you for as long as you need me.”

This time, I begin to repeat the words to the Divine Light Invocation, hoping each word will provide the healing my little friend needs.

I am created by Divine Light.
I am sustained by Divine Light.
I am protected by Divine Light.
I am surrounded by Divine Light.
I am ever growing into Divine Light.

With a soothing sing-song quality to my voice, I say the lines over and over as I gaze into his eyes. My mind flows from the words, to examining every inch of him, then back to the words: the power of the words gaining new meaning and depth within me. The obstacles to my spirituality have evaporated. I am in awe of this moment and how it is expanding my heart centre, opening my soul to a place I only imagined existed.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see my friend Kim walking toward me. As she approaches, I can feel her calm energy, in sync with mine. She pulls out a chair and sits next to me. We look at each other and she begins to chant the words with me. Over and over we say them, my voice starting to sound raw, and then in unison, we stop.

Once again I whisper, “You can leave now if you’re ready. You have given us your gift. Or do you need us to sing for you some more?”

He does not move.

Kim whispers, “Why don’t we do the whole Divine Light Invocation for him?” I nod. This time, as we say the words we imagine a healing light. Kim is concentrating, closing her eyes, tensing her body, and releasing as she visualizes the Divine Light entering into her. I do not want to move my hands or close my eyes, as the hummingbird’s eyes are transfixed with mine. Not wanting to break the connection, I can only imagine the healing light in my hands, lifting up to my little friend. We do it once, and then stop.

“Are you ready?  You can go,” I say.

He continues to look at me.

Kim and I begin the Divine Light Invocation again. This time, when we share the Divine Light, I take my gaze away from the hummingbird’s eyes and I see Kim’s palms open up. I visualize the yellow light flowing out counter clockwise, swirling in the middle between us.

And it happens.

I feel the shift of his weight. He lifts up to where I am visualizing the light. He hovers for a second, almost as though he wants me to see the transformation, his wings whirling, blurring to grey. He hovers a moment longer, suspended in mid-air, the sound of his wings filling the silence. We share that final moment. Then, in true hummingbird fashion, he zips away.

I look at the space where he was for a moment longer, then look at Kim: our eyes mirroring the wonder we both feel at the power of this moment. Without words, we reach over and squeeze each other’s hands, then lean over and hug. As our body’s separate, we share the last lingering moments in silence.

I am imprinting every moment in my mind. This miracle moment that released the unquiet of my mind, which had imprisoned my soul. The glass walls that had encased it, shattered.

I have found new depths. A hummingbird has opened me to my soul.

To read more wonderful stories and creative writing pieces, visit the links below. (Links will be updated by August 9th).

  • Destany from has written a fictional story about the hope of a young mother on tough times, titled
  • Amrita Goswami presents posted at .
  • Diane Mottl, MSW presents The Hummingbird’s Gift posted at Being Truly Present.
  • Amrita Goswami presents posted at ..

Please visit to find out how you can participate in the next Creative Writing Challenge.

5 Responses to “The Hummingbird’s Gift”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. says:

    What a beautiful experience! Hummingbirds are such incredible creatures, I love that this one gave you such a remarkable gift! Thank you for sharing and for participating in the Soulful Summer Creative Writing Challenge!

  2. Kim says:

    Thank you Diane for sharing this with us again. I’m glad you were able to find comfort in revisiting the story during this difficult time. I sense that Gator’s life was filled with your love and appreciation for his presence.

  3. says:

    Very inspiring, especially on a funky monday morning. Thanks!

  4. Loreen Graw says:

    thank you Diane…such a gift to experience your story again. much love, L.

  5. Nona says:

    What a beautiful story, and captured so eloquently in your words. Amazing! NDM

Now it's time for your voice. Please join in by leaving a comment. I read all of them and will respond if you have a question or suggestion (otherwise, I'll leave the comment section to readers. You've heard my voice enough - smile)