Like a tiny drone, the hummingbird swoops in and hovers at the feeder. Simultaneously suspended and beating its wings like crazy, all 4 grams of this feathered phenom demand attention. From its brilliant green back, scalloped tail and itty bitty feet, these nectar-lover creatures can be easily persuaded to sojourn in your yard with a little sugar water (red dye not recommended).
But like all good things, these garden treasures are fleeting. Just like the end of August – while we welcome relief from the heat, we’re already pining for summer’s lost essence.
Have you seen your first reddened leaf yet? Certainly, the signs of the changing season are coming quicker now. The flowers and the birds, too, must move on.
For those of us with hummingbird feeders, its almost time to put the feeders up. While its not true that hummingbirds can be persuaded to stay too long north by leaving your feeder up past Labor Day, it is a good idea to put it away before all you’re attracting are bees and ants.
Most species of hummingbirds will take off soon and make the trip to Mexico, Central and even South America at speeds of up to 30 mph. This may be why they must consume more than their body weight in nectar a day. While their primary food source is from flowers, hummers can easily be persuaded to put their long beaks in the tiniest of feeders filled with dissolved sugar-water (1 part sugar to 4 parts water – do not use honey or artificial sweeteners as this could harm the birds). And once you attract them to your feeder, you will likely have a friend for the whole season.
And that is why, perhaps, this time of the year finds us holding on “one last time.” Naturally, we don’t want our friends to leave or our flowers to fade. It’s hard to let go.
Whether it’s peonies or presidents, hummingbirds or history; no matter if it’s kids packed up for college or political parties put on the shelf, there’s something innate that makes us not want to let go. Here are words penned from the Broadway play “Hamilton” that talk of just such resistance and the beauty of moving on:
Pick up a pen, start writing
I wanna talk about what I have learned
The hard won wisdom I have earned (George Washington)
As far as the people are concerned
You have to serve, you could continue to serve (Alexander Hamilton)
No, one last time
The people will hear from me
One last time
And if we get this right
We're gonna teach ‘em how to say
You and I
Mister President, they will say you're weak
No, they will see we're strong
Your position is so unique
So I'll use it to move them along
Why do you have to say goodbye?
If I say goodbye, the nation learns to move on
It outlives me when I'm gone
Like the scripture says
Everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
They'll be safe in the nation we've made
I wanna sit under my own vine and fig tree
A moment alone in the shade
At home in this nation we've made
One last time
So just at good ol’ Geo did not hang on to the presidency but chose, rather, to spend some time enjoying the fruit of his labor, take some time this Labor Day to do the same. Sit in the garden ‘one last time.’ And let’s pray that the same wisdom that guided our nation in it’s founding, the wisdom that tells the hummingbird when to fly south and the wisdom to know how to let go will make us stronger.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven...” Ecclesiastes 3:1