Before a Transition Pasadena steering meeting this past Fall, I came outside looking for one of my cats just in time to see him playing with something he seemed very interested in. Unfortunately, it was a hummingbird.
I have been an ecological designer since 2004, and a majority of the projects I have worked on since then have included habitat landscaping for precious pollinators like this bird, and other beneficial organisms such as butterflies, dragonflies, and frogs. Whenever a beautiful creature visits me in my garden, I consider it a gift as nonhuman beings shy away from humankind after hundreds of years of violent aggression including habitat destruction and outright murder. When I look up the symbolic meaning of the organism who has graced me with its presence due to my offering of restored habitat, I write that down and allow the wisdom commonly associated with each species to guide my day.
Birds have long been seen around the world as messengers. The hummingbird to Native Americans brought a message of healing, love, good luck, and joy. On this occasion, my interaction with this species took a much deeper turn than usual.