And so the legend goes…

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

I have always been enthralled with hummingbirds.  My mother would always hang up feeders when I was a child, so I guess it was only natural when I "flew the nest" and set up my own housekeeping that I, too, would do the same.  

As an adult in my own home, depending on where I lived, I would have heavier hummingbird traffic in some places than in others, but always happy that I could attract them in all three of the states in which I have lived.  I get almost giddy every year when that first lone scout is spotted looking  for the perfect picnic spot to spend the summer.  And yes - I have been known to take a vaction day from work during this time just to be home to enjoy that first day when the scout's friends reign upon our place to join him.  It is fascinating to me to watch them fly in and take up residence in our big oak tree.  I love seeing them dance and flutter and see their colors bounce off the sunlight.  It always makes me feel special to watch, as if I am receiving a special blessing.  

So of course I was pleased as punch when we moved to our farm in May 2003 and found that our place flourished with hummingbirds.  In fact, they were so prolific that every evening my husband, Jack, and I would sit outside to watch what we referred to as the "hummingbird rodeo."  

It was our first summer on our land and we still didn't have a name for our farm.  Jack and I had been in great  debate on the perfect name until one evening my mother-in-law, Julia, was sitting outside with us watching the evening hummingbird rodeo.  We were pondering once again the perfect name for our farm when almost simultaneously Julia and I both said, "what about Hummingbird Farms?"  So there you have it, and hence our name.  

But - the story is much deeper than that...

Last night my good friend, Paige, gave me a very special gift.  It was a painting of a hummingbird.  Now I have seen many a hummingbird painting in my day, but I must say that this one really sang to me.  It was special and my heart swelled when I saw it.  This is the beauty of having decade-old friends; they know you better than you sometimes know yourself.  Paige knew that this particular painting would sing to me.  How right she was! 

Along with the painting came a story about a Pueblo legend of the hummingbird.  It was such a beautiful story that something inside me ignited and I stayed up half the night reading other legends and folklore about hummingbirds.

I learned that many Native American tribes consider it incredibly good luck to a see a hummingbird before a major event.  For the Pueblo Indians, the hummingbird acts as the savior of the land and its people.  The legend is that Pueblo lands were on fire and the hummingbird flew to the north, south, east and west to gather rain clouds and save the land.  As the hummingbird flew away from his heroic effort, he flew through a rainbow creating the bright colors on its throat.  

There are many other legends in which the hummingbird is portrayed as a healer or as a spirit who helps people in need.  In ancient Mexico, hummingbirds were considered sacred and associated with royalty and warriors.  Still today in areas of Mexico, hummingbirds are believed to be messengers from the afterworld or manifestations of a loved one's spirit.  

So all the years of my fascination with these incredible birds all make sense to me now.  They have been my protectors all along, showering me with love and gifts that I could have never imagined for myself.  I find it incredible that I have named my business after them, not realizing until last night, and this very special gift from Paige that triggered it all, that that evening sitting on a porch with Julia in 2003 had far more meaning than I would have ever known at the time.  


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