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Saying Goodbye

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

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