Peace, rainbows and more hummingbirds

The shadow of the peace symbol in the reflection of the rainbow showed up in my laundry yesterday. It lasted about two minutes, but I had my phone in my pocket and click, I caught it.
Since the Paris attacks, my life has been full of synchronicities. Jam-packed.
The hummingbirds alone.

There was a fifth hummingbird in my mailbox the day I posted the hummingbird blog.

IMG_7255
Obviously the hummingbirds are asking for my help. They want to get their message heard. I’m still contemplating their message.
Surely these magical creatures are coming to remind me that there is always possibility in the world, always hope, no matter how bad things get in the outer world. After all, the outer  world is created out of our stories.
I keep returning to “A Windstorm in Bubbleland,” the Mr. Rogers opera that Eva and I watch, in which Hildegarde Hummingbird is a Cassandra figure. It’s her job to warn the people that their world is about to end. A windstorm is coming to Bubbleland, but no one believes her. They don’t want to.
The end of the world begins and only Hildegarde can stop it. In a truly operatic moment, she nearly succeeds. In the end, she needs the help of the people in Bubbleland. When they flap their wings together, the wind is defeated and Bubbleland is saved.
Throughout the opera, Hildegarde reminds the people that she isn’t saving their bubbles, she is saving them.
When I wrote last week’s blog four hummingbirds had come.  Then there were five. I hadn’t opened the envelope with the picture of the fifth one on it when I began this blog.
Ha, just opened it and there’s not a single hummingbird in the literature, which is a request for money from the Nature Conservancy, but there is a beautiful hummingbird sticker!!
hummingbird sticker
Six!

Hummingbirds (or, The End of the World)

From Tuesday to Friday each week, I watch a little girl called Éva, who is 17 months old. She is a delightful child, full of life, curiosity, and good humor.

This week Éva wasn’t feeling well, so we watched one of Mr. Rogers’ operas, “Windstorm in Bubbleland,”1475 over and over. Éva is born to opera: her father is the director of OperaSLO, and her mother is a great lover of opera.

I enjoyed Windstorm so much that I played it for Tom and later for a friend.

In the opera, Hildegarde Hummingbird, played by Lady Elaine, warns the people of Bubbleland that a great windstorm is coming, but no one will listen to her.

“Why won’t you believe me?” she asks, and the people of Bubbleland sing back,

“Because we don’t want to!”

The summary of Windstorm in Bubbleland on IMDB ends:

The wind attempts to utterly demolish Bubbleland. The fate of the world rests in the wings of an unsung feathered heroine.

IMG_7245This morning, the morning following the Paris attacks, the dawn of the apocalypse, I came across an old, handmade book hidden among some papers I was sorting for our coming move. It is a poem by Walter Gruen, written in December, 1939, while he was interned in Meslay du Maine, France, along with the artist who created the little book, Hugo Price, my father, and many other Austrian and German Socialists, intellectuals and artists.

The Song of Barbed Wire

Black and full of clouds

hardly any stars shine in the sky…

Will the night ever go away and the sky begin to lighten?

Barbed wire

separates us from love.

Longing consumes us.

When will freedom blossom?

Freedom, ah, you are so ardently awaited!

Every suffering

has its end.

The sun rises again…

March storms rage,

Longing becomes fulfilled!

Barbed wire

in all the lands

freedom is denied …

March storms will thunder

Freedom will return.

Moments after I shared the book with Tom, we discovered a hummingbird trapped in each of the three skylights in our bedroom. Three hummingbirds! Three rufous hummingbirds, the California version of Hildegarde, banging their heads against the glass.

We tried to free them, but it was time to go to the farmers’ market. After making sure the cats were elsewhere, we left the three hummingbirds to exhaust themselves until they fell, and hopefully to fly away when they recovered.

As I got into the car with my bags for the market, I moved a piece of paper from my seat. It was a flyer for a friend’s radio show:

my WIN card copy

Four hummingbirds!

A couple hours later, two of the three in the skylights were gone. The last one, like Hildegarde at the end of the opera, lay silent on the floor. As I picked the tiny body up, it woke, shook itself, and flew off. Like Hildegarde.

Traditionally a harbinger of the joy of life and of synchronicity, hummingbirds also symbolize courage, adaptability, determination and flexibility.

Four hummingbirds show up just when I’m feeling the end of the world is surely at hand. There must be a message here, don’t you think?