It was shaping up to be a ragged week.
As much as the parched California landscape needs the rain, and as grateful as I am that El Nino has purportedly arrived, the onslaught required a period of adjustment for me. And of course, the first storms of the year brought with them the minor aggravations that first storms of the year often do.
A few client drop-outs, calling to reschedule appointments.
The garbage can coldcocked by a menacing gust.
Scattered tree branches that left the lawn looking like a miniature wooden sculpture garden.
All told, nothing out of the ordinary.
But by midweek, I was ragged as well. Too little sleep. Not enough exercise. Cranky. Stiff. A bit overwhelmed by the “list.” (Maybe you have one too? Sometimes I look at mine and feel like I’m swimming through mud).
So that was my background music last Wednesday. Standing at the sliding door looking out at the gathering storm.
For a few fleeting moments I considered going out in it.
Now that, I figured, would be an experience to write about.
Oh yes, in that instant I wanted so to be the woman who creates a meaningful moment by traipsing out into the storm. I imagined I’d walk for several miles. Skirt the tree branches. Sway with the wind. Do some puddle jumping. Watch the river rise whilst I heartily embraced the downpour, arms extended like Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain.
What a good story it would make!
Yeah. I wasn’t feeling it though. Better not to force this meaning making thing, I reasoned.
And then, as my reverie was loosening its hold, along came a red-breasted hummingbird, on his way to the feeder. Very small, as hummingbirds are. And very wet. But determined to suck up some of that lip-smacking-good sugar water.
This little guy knew what he was doing. After several seconds at the feeder, he’d fly under the eaves to perch on the string of patio lights hanging across the back of the house, remnants of warm summer evenings. He’d bolster himself with a few deep breaths, a fine ruffle of feathers. Then back for more nourishment.
I stood and marveled at his rain dance for several minutes.
Just as I was about to walk away, he gifted me with an unexpected encounter. He broke his flight path and hovered, right across from me. In that instant, we connected. Two living things, sizing one another up through a rain-streaked pane of glass. I see you. I acknowledge you. Nothing more. Nothing less.
And in that small moment of meaning making, both my day and my week turned.
Sometimes, when I’m concentrating on consciously creating meaning each day, an event takes place that becomes a leitmotif. A through-line. It stays with me and enhances each subsequent meaningful experience.
The hummingbird was like that.
He sat on my shoulder as I purged closets and drawers, filling five bags with stuff to give away. He landed on my sewing machine as I made a paisley duvet. He flitted around the dinner table as I savored Dave’s home-cooked meal.
In fact, although you probably can’t see him, he’s here now, helping me to remember (again), that life doesn’t have to be difficult. That we can get out of its way. And sometimes, all it takes to do that is a quick look out the window.
How about you? What’s been meaningful for you this past week? I’m in such a mood to hear about it, so please share. And if you’d like to participate more fully in Meaning Mondays, check out these questions I’ve been using to amplify the small meaningful opportunities that are everywhere:
JUST FOR TODAY…
- What is inspiring me?
- What needs to be enjoyed?
- What am I seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling?
- What am I feeling?
- How can I make meaning?
WHY NOT START NOW?