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  • Dasia Zanders

The Hummingbird

Transformations in life are often uncomfortable. It does not matter whether an individual is welcoming change or pushing it away with disdain. Recently, I've felt many things to be grateful for and yet entirely annoyed by the way I can't seem to settle a strange jittery emotion in me. It didn't take me long to realize why this has been occurring. My life is taking another new journey on a quest that I simultaneously expected and didn't give much thought to at all.

My response to this transitional period of my life has been rather bizarre even to me. Emotionally, I am stable and functioning quite well, dare I say I may actually be happy! Mentally, my thoughts are reflecting like a prism of light from quartz, beautiful shades of color but incapable of remaining in a designated area. Spiritually, my inner peace has been consistent although there is that occasional stir provoked from my mind to find the answer to my inability to focus. Physically, I am out of alignment. I have been unable to sleep at night, unable to find my desire to eat, alternating between exhaustion and sparks of energy, and can visually see the exhaustion in my eyes.

Yet, I am not upset by this.

I'm fascinated by the ways people react and respond to transformational stages of life. Most people feel the emotional aspects, others the mental ones, some it arrives in their soul, and for others, it reveals itself in the physical body through aches, pains, and other methods. My thinking has been wrapped around this for almost two weeks now and I keep coming back to hummingbirds.

Now, I think it is only fair to mention that growing up I had no interest in birds. I found them a bit terrifying with how they swooped down from the sky, pecking and picking at whatever they desired before sailing away to their nest of twigs, leaves, and stolen goods. It wasn't until after my grandfather from my mother's side of the family passed away that my love for birds began. My grandfather, I called him Papa, was fond of birds. He enjoyed watching them, especially the smaller and delicate ones, so much so that he had bird feeders in his yard.

When he died I did what I often do in situations where people expect a strong emotional reaction, I gave a well-thought-out response with as much poise as I could muster. My coping mechanism in serious and sorrowful circumstances has always been to sweep aside my deeper emotions, think clearly of what I can and cannot do for others involved or for the matter at hand, and deal with the emotional pain later on, preferably alone. Is this the healthiest reaction? For a majority of people, no it is not. For me, it has been the only proper way (outside of writing) to handle these events without breaking down and giving up on hope.

It took me about a year to truly process that I had lost my Papa, a shorter time than it did for me to process my father's death, but still quite a bit of time. I began paying more attention to birds whenever I was outside. They no longer got my scrunched-up nose of distrust, but rather my soft smiles and idle chatter. We are on much better terms. A particular bird that keeps perching on the tendrils of my mind has been the Hummingbird. They've caught my attention in such a mysterious way. I think they perfectly symbolize what transformation feels like for not only me but for all of us. Hummingbirds have unusual behavior in the way they fly. They can hover for long periods of time, fly backwards, and have the most admirable ability to change direction instantly. We as people have tendencies to stay stuck in one place for longer than we should, fall into old habits and routines in need of comfort or self-sabotage, and yet we're still able to transform our paths in life. It doesn't happen immediately, it can't happen overnight, and sometimes it feels like it's time to give up but there are so many different paths in our lives that we have yet to explore.

I'm proud of the way I've been handling this current phase of my life. I haven't hovered and I haven't surprisingly gone backwards into self-sabotage or terrible habits. I'm changing direction and I'm enjoying the flight. I hope one day, all of us are able to be more like a Hummingbird. Unusual, unique, captivating, and capable.


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