There it is! Don't you see? Catch it! Catch it! Catch it now. Watch it glide above the sea Spreading wings so prettily. Red and Green and Blue and Gold Are its colors I've been told Look into its dreamy eye Feel its grandeur, hear it sigh. But I cannot see it now. For it flies away so fast. Catch the memory and make it last. Catch it! Catch it! Catch it now. There it is! Don't you see?...
I wrote the above poem when I was a teenager. And I truly had no idea what it meant. But something told me to save it.
Fast forward 35 years later. I had decided to give up my computer helpdesk career and become a full time nature photographer. I was sorting through papers and I found this poem again. It astounded me how much it matched the above picture of a hummingbird, almost down to every single color!
She is sipping sweet food from a zinnia. And because she is eating, her wings slowed down enough to be able to capture the detail you see. I thought to myself, how perfect! This is what my poem meant. When you see a hummingbird, it does seem like a moment in time you want to slow down. And make it last. And remember it. Some of our memories are this precious. Are they not?
I did not always know I wanted to be a photographer. My first sign that this was a possibility, happened during a visit to Florida, where I sustained a serious head injury. I was at a yoga retreat, and a huge board fell from the ceiling and hit my head. I did not even know the board was falling until I heard something loud hit a door, and then it ricocheted back onto my head. The noise gave me a warning that something was falling and somehow my hand reached out to push it away from me. It all happened so fast.
I didn’t realize I was having a concussion. I started to cry and I didn’t want to eat anything. My roommate tried to comfort me. The only time I felt ok was when I looked out the window and saw a beautiful white heron land in a body of water. It spread its huge white wings and I derived such comfort from seeing this beautiful sight. I didn’t realize that was the last time I would feel really good! For a while.
Somehow I made it the airport and got home. I think my body was in shock. It took me 2 or 3 months for the dizziness to go away, and 3 years for my neck to be fully mobile.
In the meantime, I went back to my miserable desk job and the people there were not sympathetic. I often felt sad and depressed, like my life had no purpose. I was ok at my job, but not great. It was not my passion. And I always felt like something was missing from my life.
I noticed that when I was outside in nature, I felt best of all. Whole. Complete. Blessed. And I was seeing herons everywhere! According to Native Americans, when you see a heron it means that you need to seek your truth.
I do believe that we have signs all throughout our life, guiding us and moving us in the right direction. All of us have a special purpose, and all of us have different talents that should not be ignored. Don’t wait for a 2×4 to fall on your head! If you have stirrings and longings, take action. Do what your heart desires. Live your life on purpose.