The other day, I watched a very determined female hummingbird work diligently to get nectar from a Murano glass ball ornament hanging above my patio. She must have thought she had found the Holy Grail of feeders, but this was an ornament, not a feeder. Despite the brilliant flowers in bloom mere feet away from her, this little beauty only had eyes for what she must have thought was the mother lode of nectar. I can't blame her. How could anything so dazzlingly bold and beautiful (and Italian!) not hold abundant nourishment and goodness? However, the longer I observed this little hummer repeatedly going after the glass ball and getting absolutely nothing in return, it became painful to watch. She'd undoubtedly gotten nectar from similar looking objects in the past, but how many times would she ram her little beak into this ornament before she realized it wasn't going to bring her joy, much less a full tummy? On the contrary, if she didn't stop, she was going to get seriously hurt.
I began thinking of how some of us repeatedly return to sources that don't particularly nurture or feed us. We tell ourselves that ''This time it will be different! This time I'll be nurtured.'' Perhaps we, too, have distant memories of times when we were richly sustained by someone or something that looked similar. And then, Whammo! We find ourselves up against a glass wall wondering how we got hurt or disillusioned. The source sure looked good and sounded good, but it wasn’t the real deal. If we're wise (and if we’ve lived long enough to know better!), we won't waste too much of our time on these glass ornaments of life. Instead, we'll recognize the blooming flowers in our midst that consistently nourish, refresh, and sustain us. They're always there, but sometimes it takes stepping away from the faux feeders to discover them. Just as well-fed hummingbirds become covered in pollen that they in turn deposit on other flowers (which in turn provide them with more life-sustaining nectar, and on and on), so will the cycle of life live on with each of us as we share our time, energy, and talents with the sources that truly feed us or need us.
With appreciation to each of our customers who has personally enriched my life, I wish you and your families all the joys of the winter season!