Friday, July 2, 2010

Listening, Giving, and a Hummingbird's Nest

Dawnya and I participate in Couch Surfing. You may know about it. It's worldwide. Basically, we go stay with strangers and they come and stay with us. During the day or two you spend together, you've shared meals, swapped stories, and usually you end up with new friends or at least having learned something new.

We had a new friend from Wisconsin stay with us last weekend. Turns out she has a 15 year-old son who is enrolled in one of the wilderness schools near here. His particular struggles and risky behaviors (along with the usual teen difficulties) have consumed her life and everyone around him. So, she and her husband mortgaged everything in an effort to get him in a place where he cannot harm himself, can learn some more positive behaviors, and so they can get their lives back.

We didn't know this when we accepted her request to "surf" at our home. She needed to let a lot of stuff out, to vent, to know her thoughts and feelings are OK, that she's OK. As we listened, it was uncanny how her 15 year-old sounds so much like our son. And we just happened to have gone through a lot of the same things, the same questioning. We sat up late around our fire ring, looking at the full moon, and mostly listening.

Before we all turned in, she said, "I feel better right now than I have in about 5 years. You guys are so inspiring." That's sweeter than "good night, sleep tight", wouldn't you say?

The next day, she and I hiked for about 3 hours around the creek near our house. We stopped for a drink by a small stream. She looked up and saw something I had been looking to find for 40 years. There it was, about 7 feet off the ground, with a grey-green mother sitting on her eggs, being transparent.

I don't know why I've always wanted to find a hummingbird's nest, but it’s been a major thing on my bucket list. I haven't had much luck tailing them. They're getting faster every year. I never would have seen that golf ball-sized miracle without our new friend from Wisconsin.

I was reminded that when you give without any expectation of a payback, something will come to you that you can't see coming or put a value on.


  1. Yes, the Universe has its own method of compensation, and how nice when you reap the rewards so soon. How open you must be to welcome strangers to your couch.

  2. Hello Myrna,

    Thanks for visiting and for your insights.

    I have been thinking a lot about the Universe this morning and our interconnectedness with everything. I was thinking that if I don't do my part, I leave a hole in the Universe. I'm thinking about writing a piece using the "hole in the universe" idea. What do you think?

    On the Couch Surfing thing, we have gotten something from everyone we have welcomed to our home - usually a new friendship. ;-)