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A ruby-throated hummingbird in mid-light against a green background.

Your Hummingbird Heart on Mother’s Day

May 8, 2022  |  by Susie Spikol  |  no comments yet

I am holding a teacup-sized hummingbird nest in my hands. The outside is covered in silvery green lichen flakes, stitched together with spider silk. The silk not only holds this home together; it allows the nest to stretch and grow as the babies grow. The inside, no bigger than a thimble, is soft with dandelion down, and if I could, I would climb right in and wait for my ruby-throated mother to return with a beak full of something special just for me.

I watch a hummingbird from my backyard. She’s been at it for at least eight days building a nursery—pressing the edges of the nest, shaping the downy cup between her neck and chest, stamping it down with twig-like feet, making sure it is solid and sturdy before she lays her tiny white eggs. She’s at it alone in this world. The eggs and soon the hatchlings are her responsibility, alone.

Every mother has a hummingbird heart. Our hearts might not be as big as the ruby-throated hummingbird, whose tiny heart is the largest of all animals, making up 2.5% of their entire weight, but we share the same hope; a hope that we can give our children a place to grow that is soft and cozy and solid and flexible. And we, mothers and children of mothers, know that this is work, hard work. We put everything into it like the hummingbird, pressing, shaping, and stamping.

May your heart be like a hummingbird’s this Mother’s Day.

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