I sit under the patio umbrella as the white sky begins a gentle mist. I do this every day after work, this sitting. It’s a deep breath, a time for soul to catch up with body. This ritual helps unite the stories of the day’s labor with the other stories of my life—stories of family and laundry and cooking dinner and sipping the wine of each ordinary moment.
Who knows how many times she stealthily visited while I sat just so, eyes blind? One day she flew too close and, surprising us both, hovered just at eye level before ghosting away—flash of emerald and blurred wings. A Ruby-throated hummingbird. Only the males have the ruby throat, this is how I knew her gender. For, she often hovers before me, in-between floral draughts, exposing her white neck unapologetically. Does she know she is beautiful, even without a ruby necklace? The very air under her wings draws breath when she appears.
I recognize her voice now. Before each dip of her long beak into nectared vase, she breathes a tiny chirrup, a gentle inhale before sipping deeply. I barely dare to breathe, for she is timorous and if I move too much, she might startle away.
Today, I wait for her the way I wait for dolphins by the sea, the way I wait for falling stars: still, expectant. When finally she comes, wings thrumming in the rain, I am happy. Soul and body are one again.