At dusk yesterday, on the eve of the one-week countdown to our upcoming yoga teacher training, I visited the smaller meditation studio which is nestled into the jungle. After sitting in stillness for a time, and as I stood up to depart, I noticed the tiniest, most perfect nest. It is two-toned; its outer edges dotted with gray-green lichen and tightly woven into a seamless single container. The inner lining is white to match and perhaps to better mask the two bean-sized eggs nestled within.
Hummingbirds are the smallest avians, so their nests are also the tiniest ones. They must be careful to hide them well, low enough so that the monkeys and toucans can’t get to their eggs, but high enough (and sometimes on the most delicate of branches) so that the snakes can’t eat them from below.
The minuscule nest, discovered in the days leading up to our next yoga teacher training, is a fortuitous omen about the nature of what this particular group comes together to experience and learn. Hummingbirds are light-hearted and graceful. They seem to glide effortlessly from place to place, and have the flexibility to change directions instantaneously. Just as the hummingbird works tirelessly while appearing to not work at all, our invitation through the hummingbird is to cultivate an attitude of resilience and adaptability while remaining playful and optimistic. Their appearance as a totem animal is a call to appreciate the sweetness and joy in life.
Wherever you are, if hummingbirds are on your radar (even in dreams or images, if not in real (winter) life), they can also be a reminder to rest often and nourish yourself fully. Hummingbirds seem to be constantly in motion, and indeed they almost always are. Because of this, they’re appearance in our lives can indicate a need to slow down and take in the nectar of life.
Symbols, signs, and animal messages offer us a playful way to be in relationship with the natural world. The cultivation of this kind of relationship grounds us in the reality of our interconnected nature. As I prepare emotionally, spiritually, and mentally to receive the incoming group of future yoga teachers of Pavones Yoga Center, I’m so grateful to be supported by this unique totem animal, the hummingbird. I’ve made this image (taken ever so carefully so as not to disturb the attentive parents) of the nest my screensaver. If you’re feeling the call of the hummingbird, I invite you to do the same, this is one way to stay connected and to remember the guidance the natural world offers in this moment.