Day 13: Hummingbird Trailhead

September 28, 2016

While I was sifting through piles of meaningless paper and lost notes that had been previously stored in drawers that were now sold and absent after my garage sale on September 10th, I repeatedly came across Papyrus cards with a hummingbird symbol and saying on the back:

Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.

So I knew the hummingbird’s presence was following me throughout my travels, but I’d forgotten of its presence until our hike to Hummingbird Trailhead.

Lora was waiting for me impatiently at 7am, knowing I did not come to life naturally as early as she. We hopped in the car and sped out of town so as not to miss the entire sunrise. We drove into the desert’s open land just in time. I stepped out of the car and into the purest air of the morning’s first rays. There was something grounding and special about this landscape I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Before we began the hike, Lora led a brief yoga session. Here, I felt myself coming to life again.

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“I’ll let you walk in front of me. If I were ahead, you’d be left behind in the dust.”

I walked ahead, inhaling the aroma of multiple desert plants and tall grasses. I swore I could smell the cool beauty of the mountains ahead. I pointed out desert plants that might be used as medicinal, comparing them to those I was familiar with in Colorado’s mountainous region. This slowed our hiking rate even more. It was gratifying to carefully observe the colors and shapes, slowing down to appreciate the desert essence.

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Near the peak of the trail where the Hummingbird petroglyph lie on top of rocks, I found myself overjoyed to spy at small pool of water, derived by a running waterfall. I couldn’t resist the urge to sit at the edge of the rocks and dip my feet into its liquid stillness. Even before I departed on my journey, I found that the stillness of water was always going to be an immediate soul-reviver for me.

After time spent with the water, I hiked to the top of the rocks where Lora was already meditating on the rock on which the hummingbird petroglyph was drawn. I joined her for a few minutes in this solitary spot overlooking a long line of rocks with petroglyph formations.

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On our way back, we encountered a familiar figure walking her dog along the trail. Lora called out to the woman and her dog, mistaking her for somebody else.

“Good morning! I’m not Madeline- my name’s Jamie,” the woman called out. As we stepped closer, I recognized her as the woman I’d spoke with at the herb shop the day before! So Lora, the Silver City socialite, didn’t know her… but I did! Jamie was a doula and an herbalist, and we’d carried a conversation about these things just the day before.

After passing time speaking with Jamie, who was a doppelgänger of two people we knew (one in Laramie and one in Silver City), we encountered a vividly majestic monarch outstretching her wings for us to gaze at in awe. Immediately after that, we ran into a group of women whom Lora actually did know. While I discussed the state with them, the most memorable quote I was given is, “New Mexico has a soul.”

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It was as though this monarch was encouraging me to outstretch my heart’s wings to all new possibilities. I’d never experienced a moment of such deep communication with a winged insect before, but through its silence and gentle motion, it conveyed to us a clear message.

I have always analyzed the color orange as representing the message: “don’t take yourself so seriously”. As I was talking through my life crisis and my future plans, this was something that slipped from my mouth unconsciously. I said, “And then, on the other hand, I wonder why I have to constantly be taking myself so seriously. Because there’s not only one right option for my life path.”

At this we both laughed. On the car ride back to Lora’s house with a brief detour of some scenes around town, she turned up the radio that happened to be playing Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield– a song of my youth- which I recalled had been playing in my head upon waking up that morning.

There’s a place where I go, where the rivers flow, and I call it home. And there’s no more lies; in the darkness there’s light and nobody cries- there’s only butterflies.

The sun is on my side, and takes me for a ride. I smile up to the sky; I know I’ll be alright.

“Wow, that’s a powerful message for you,” Lora stated later with a wink.

Was it the rivers calling me to them? What was their message? Go with the flow…  reminding me that I could no longer resist the fact that I was eternally part of the ebb and flow of life.

We ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Silver City where she referred to me as her “weekend daughter” to the waitress. She was smiling at every person in the restaurant so lovingly. “I love the faces of Silver City. Good, hard-working people. That’s how I describe the people of this city,” she responded to my question about the people culture. “But Silver City’s still fresh to me since I’m only here during the summer.” Lora prefers traveling solo to foreign countries throughout the remaining of the year.

It was this kind of fearlessness and open-mindedness that silently attached itself to my own thought process while I was around Lora and others in New Mexico.

I spent the rest of the day at a coffee shop applying to jobs in Taos, of all places. I couldn’t say why, not having visited Taos on this particular journey, I was drawn to apply for jobs there- other than because that was the closest location to the actual setting of my novel. I hadn’t given myself the time to work on my novel during this journey because I was too busy exploring and socializing. I was coming to know that this was what I needed more than writing- the reassurance that I would never be alone on my journeys. I realized I possessed the capability to form families anywhere I went, and the knowledge to recognize the realness of these relationships.

That night, I met Lora’s friend Kelley, who graced us with one of his original Silver City style songs. I played a few on the guitalele for them. Laura and Rob prepared dinner, unexpectedly, which we all joined. We discussed the definition of “synchronicity” at some point during the laughter-filled conversation and the contrast between that and “serendipity”.

We concluded that synchronicity implies truly being in the flow of life and the Universe consistently, whereas serendipity is a fleeting moment of blessed coincidence. If a magical coincidence, a sign, occurs within your daily life, you can choose your definition. You can choose to follow signs if you believe you are being divinely guided, or you can dismiss them. Gratitude of either occasion will amplify your experience then and in the future.

After we were finished eating, we toasted wine again. “To SYNCHRONICITY!”

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