A very good day


A hummingbird can weigh just 18 grams.
[Photo by Maria Sheehan on Unsplash]

One day in the nineteen seventies I was seated at my desk in my office in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of the School of Medicine in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It had been a long day, like most days then: There had been a lecture to undergrads; most likely there had been a laboratory class or demonstration to medical students; possibly there was a seminar with graduate students; as most days then probably, there had been a lab experiment; and on a bad day there might have been a staff meeting of some sort, either in our Department or with the Dean of the School. So, a rather long day and I was at my desk trying to figure out what came next. It was the end of the workday, so I was alone in the Department.

I raised my eyes and looked through the window. The Department was on the first floor of the building and my office window looked out at a garden with some flowers and several trees that were just a few feet away from the window and my desk. When I looked out, I saw a beautiful; no, a gorgeous bird that was there defying the laws of Physics by batting its wings so fast that it did not fall, but slow enough that it did not move forward or up either. Its body parts were moving, alright, but the whole body remained stationary in midair with the beak inserted into a flower and sucking life. It was a hummingbird, of course. I was not a bird watcher, but I knew instantly that this marvel of nature was a hummingbird. I had never seen one in the flesh so close to me before and for so long. The bird moved to 3 or 4 different flowers and at the end of a very short time, maybe a couple of minutes, moved to another garden.

This spectacle of energy, of concentrated dedication to its survival, was somehow contagious. So, I was imbued with renovated energy and optimism: Stood up, left the Department, mounted on my bike, and pedaled with renewed strength to get home and enjoy the end of what had been a long day with my wife and sons. They had a lot of questions and many interesting things to tell, and dinner was superb, as usual.

All in all, it had been a good day. Actually, a very good day!


Contributed by: Federico Díes

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1 thought on “Therapy by Hummingbird

  1. How remarkable those tiny creatures are. And how remarkable that observing the hummingbird’s energy energized you. Your lovely story brightened this dismal, rainy morning.

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