I watch the hummingbird that comes to my feeder several times a day. Its ruby and emerald colors flashing. It’s long beak – designed for getting at the heart of things. It’s nearly invisible wings and its iridescence, with camouflage that makes it look like a flower. All day it sips sweetness -- without guilt or regret. Oh, the joy of seeking what you most want relentlessly, lightly.
What is it you most want? For me, one thing is solitude. And yet, I feel vaguely guilty about wanting solitude. Even though I know how it nourishes me. Maybe we could all be more like the hummingbird – going after what we really want – repeatedly. Taking joy in being beautiful, hungry, persistent.
What I like abut solitude is that it is waiting for you to find it. It lets you eat crackers and not worry about the crumbs. It doesn’t care how many pages you’ve read or whether you understand process theology. It only wants to give you space. It gives gifts that you may not quite recognize or even know how to unwrap. It doesn’t expect thanks or a reciprocal invitation. It is extravagant and wants you to be also. It is good with whenever, however, wherever. It notices your selfishness and gives you an award for it. It wants you to shed your own too-tight skin and slither out of what binds you. It wants you to be a hummingbird.
Here is a portion of a blessing John O’Donohue has written for solitude.
May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone,
that your soul in its brightness and belonging connect you intimately with the
rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for your own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that
you have a special destiny here,
that behind the façade of your life there is something
beautiful, good, and eternal happening.