I am definitely being stalked by hummingbirds. Pulling myself from the dim room I have been holed up in since my ER visit a few days ago, I manage to shuffle to the front porch and make it as far as the outdoor couch. Good spot for a rest. The evening sun rushes in sideways, prompting the cellulose in each leaf and flower petal to shimmer, an explosion of beauty that causes my eyes to blink wildly.
The evening is very warm, maybe the first real heatwave of the season, and I am enjoying the big gulps of fresh air. If I could just focus on the light and my breath, then maybe I could shake off all of the repetitively defeatist thoughts about my health. This quest to have a baby has turned my life completely upside down. Up until two days ago, I was able to fit it all neatly into my schedule, pencil it in to the calendar, squeeze it into the spare moments. This cockamamy approach stood up until the day after the egg retrieval when I was doubled over with severe abdominal and lower back pain. I’ve never had pain so bad it made you throw up. Now I can check that off the list.
Come on, I tell my feet, let’s shuffle over to the flower garden. The daring individuality and quiet laughter of the blooms always makes you feel better, my feet murmur in response. We wander among the purple verbena, the little yellow pincushions, the huge bushes of butterfly flowers and the lone towering hollyhock. Suddenly my heart jumps out of my chest (are those painkillers putting me on edge or what?) as a tiny iridescent feathered bird zooms into the screen, hurrying to get to those Agastache before someone else does. I reprimand my heart for being startled by a nectar hunting hummingbird. We watch it, my soothed heart and I, rapt, for a full minute, following the whirring sound of its wings in and out of each individual bloom, flowers that I hadn’t even registered as being made up of so many small, drinkable parts.
Three weeks ago we were driving through the Colorado National Monument in the Western part of the state. I was feeling much lower and more anxious than I had in years. Earlier that day I received my IVF calendar over email, so out there on the road with spotty reception, I had to comb through all of the information, book my appointments, order thousands of dollars of medications and delve into the doubt and fear surrounding it all. Even though I was sitting next to my very loving husband, what I felt was completely and utterly alone. My decisions, my body, my appointments, my nightly shots, all of it, and despite the great beauty outside of the car window I had never felt more trapped. As calmly as possible I asked that he pull over at the next view point. Once the truck was stopped I bolted down the path of earthen steps and stood staring over the red canyon.
Gnarled pinyon pines, squat patches of sagebrush and blooming yucca filled the plateau. Rusty rock spires far down in the canyon cast a long shadow over the valley floor. And there, not two feet from where I stood, a hummingbird hovered mid air, its delicate head turned right towards me. At this random lookout, in this high desert canyon, almost bereft of flowers as far as I could tell, a hummingbird came to me. Tears were streaming down my face. Maybe, I knew then, I would be alright, and I would meet our baby soon.
Back in my flower garden, on the heels of this big scare about my ovaries, the hummingbird stalking brought me back to that red canyon, has reminded me, yet again. For a minute, I feel good, great maybe. Even better than after I took that first painkiller in the ER and found Home Alone playing on the TV in the sterile room that smelled faintly of pee. I had heard a talk recently on the topic of how the universe always gives us signs, but it is up to us to notice them. Skeptical, I secretly hoped that I would someday know what they were talking about with such certainty. Well my dear ones, I think the day has arrived. I’m lucky to be awake enough to notice it.