The Gift of the Hummingbird


Brenda Powell

Today, one of the neighborhood hummingbirds visited us, drinking nectar from the Yuletide camellia in our front yard. My husband and I were both present to witness this event. I see hummingbirds almost daily between my garden and the nursery, but this seemed special. My husband being with me was significant because he is the one that first believed each encounter with the hummingbird is a blessing. For him, of all the winged creatures, the hummingbird interacts and connects with him the most.

So today my mind said, “We are blessed by Mr. Hummingbird,” and that got me thinking. I needed to write this article and I was struggling with the other ideas I had. I did not feel that I could give anyone advice. I realized, as I thought about the hummingbird, that what truly is in my heart is the idea that nature, the natural world is a blessing. It is a gift and I believe that we, as humans, are meant to take care of it. We, is you and me, but it’s also companies, politicians, other countries and other people. And we haven’t been doing such a great job of caring for our planet.

I need nature. I need plants, flowers, forest, soil and creatures. Those things calm me, ground me and keep me present in the moment. They connect me to something greater than myself. When I relax in that natural world my mind is free. Generally in nature, I am worry-free and that allows me to be creative. The natural world feeds and clothes me. It provides the water I drink. Natural beings provide my income. The bees that pollinate the crops and the four-legged creatures that keep me company are part of that world. So are the two-legged creatures I call family and friends.

I have spent my life trying to add to and care for the plants, soil, creatures and natural world. I plant my landscape so that I can have that secluded spot where I can unwind. I garden organically 90% of the time, now. I recycle and reuse, and I’m working on the reduce. And so on. Often I question myself, “Have I made the right choices? Have I helped and not harmed? Have I made a difference?” I hope so. No matter what the answers are, I will continue to do what I can to help care for our natural world. I will take pride in my garden again. I will talk customers into planting trees. I will feel more confident to give advice.

So thank you Mr. Hummingbird for visiting me today and reminding me why I do what I do. You are a blessing, nature is a gift, and I am grateful.

Brenda is a 4th generation owner of Garland Nursery in Corvallis Oregon.
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