Substance and Soul

How a little humming bird taught me a lesson

MotherhoodSamantha WetterholmComment

Sometimes you see a precious glimpse into a world greater than your own. And sometimes that glimpse reveals more than you could possibly imagine. 

This evening we discovered a beautiful blessing in our backyard. A hummingbird has made her nest in our tree. She flitted from branch to branch, looking overhead, weary of our presence, but letting us know that this was her patch of earth and sky to call her own and she was not going anywhere.

If you know me, you'll know that my favorite animals are penguins and humming birds. If I were an animagus I would be a penguin, but my patronus is definitely a humming bird. There is something majestic and angelic about humming birds that have always drawn me to watching them float from flower to flower.

As I was watching this lovely bird -- whom I've named Helena -- float around my backyard, I became overwhelmed with a sense of peace, calm, and clarity. I was perfectly contented to standing still while my gaze followed this precious bird. At one point she flew out of range of my backyard and my curiosity lead me to peaking inside her nest. 

AN EGG. 

One precious, tiny egg nestled between feathers and wee little findings from the mother-to-be. It took all my energy not to completely squeal in delight. I backed away slowly as Helena the humming bird came back with a few warning tweets letting me know not to get too close. 

As I gazed at this bird, atop her baby with head swiveling to and fro, I was overcome with emotion and felt immediately connected to this fellow mama. 

Sometimes, I am entirely guilt-ridden and self-conscious about my vocation of motherhood. Am I doing it right? Are the kids alright? Are they growing and thriving? Do they know the Lord? Are they content? Are they happy? Am I enough? I can become paralyzed by my worry and anxiety. I freeze in this place of fear. 

But this little bird, swift and determined, taught me something. It is natural to wonder and worry about my children and that's okay. But it is my attitude that can be the problem. I watched little Helena hover over her tree, warning me not to get too close then float into her nest and sit cozy on her babe. She made her nest, made the foundation, and brought this little egg home.

Yes she keeps a lookout, yes she searches for food, yes she prepares for the arrival of her wee one. She taught me that it is natural to prepare and make way, but what I should not do is dwell in that place of worry and shame and fear. 

This has been my toughest pregnancy to date. My fear and worry about having enough room/space/finances/time/energy for three has frozen my ability to just be. To prepare without being frantic. To make a way without cursing the day. To open my heart to grow in love instead of wondering how to make my love stretch further. 

A little humming bird perched atop her branched reminded me to make space for the preparation, but that the constant, gut-wrenching fear has no place in my heart. God has made me for this. I have been called to this vocation, not to spend it on my knees in despair, but with my arms and heart wide open knowing that with God, I will never be handed more than I am able to handle. 

Peace. Joy. Preparation. Love. 

Thank you little humming bird. From one mama-to-be to another.