Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring

It's raining, it's pouring,
The old man is snoring.
He bumped his head
And he went to bed
And he couldn't get up in the morning.

I was driving around in the rain today, minding my own business. In a residential area near work (in Culver City), I noticed something zipping around. I looked closer and ... lo and behold!- it was a hummingbird. It looked like it was barely heavier than the raindrops and I felt so sorry for it ... but I was also so happy to see a hummingbird!

When I was little, my family used to have a hummingbird feeder (those big things that look like inverted beakers with red rubbery flowers that the hummingbirds can poke their beaks into) and I saw the little birds all the time.

As I got older and we started raising cats and dogs (coincidentally, it's raining cats and dogs in L.A. right now. What the heck?!), we stopped putting out the hummingbird feeder because we were afraid one of the mammals would kill one of the birds. As a child, it wasn't a big loss- I preferred the furry animals that came when called and were cuddly; birds aren't very affectionate, after all! But now, thinking back on it, I can't think of an animal that more describes my early years than the hummingbird.

I think I was in second grade when we moved into a house. Prior to that, we lived in an apartment (in a complex called Small World- one of the most irritating songs Disney has ever manufactured, but a must-ride ride, at regular times and especially at Christmas time) and didn't have cats or dogs. I still remember the hummingbird feeder, hung just outside the sliding glass door, out of reach for me. The birds that always flew in the most drunken manner, zipping around. I remember how happy I was every time I spotted a hummingbird, and how exciting it was when those birds had little baby birds that zig-zagged even more drunkenly than their parents.

I wish I was still naive enough, still innocent enough, to become instantly happy, my worries melting away, just by seeing a hummingbird.