I came upon a hummingbird.
He was lying on the ground and appeared as though dead.
He was not dead, for if he had been, I would not be writing this blog post about him. Believe me: I know of no good stories to be told involving dead hummingbirds. Perhaps this just shows some lack of imagination on my part.
This hummingbird in question – this one about whom I do have a story – looked dead but felt alive. When the sunlight reflected on his tiny chest, it twinkled like oil on water, how one color instantly becomes another and you cannot take your eyes off it.
I cradled him in my hands and my hands looked huge at last.
I suppose he was in shock but upon reaching my office, he came unshocked and darted straight up and into the fluorescent lights in the ceiling. It is not an easy thing, catching an unshocked hummingbird who slams himself against ceiling lights.
Like a madman, I leapt upon my desk and climbed atop a teetering cabinet. My thin pink headscarf I used as a makeshift net with which to capture and retain the hummingbird. We made the trek back outside for his happy release.
I was happy, at any rate. It seems he, for his part, should have been more satisfied with his lot in life than when I’d found him there on the ground. I have no real understanding of hummingbird emotions, I admit.
I opened my hands, unfolded my headscarf, and the hummingbird shot up and out, over the people, over the cars, and over the buildings of downtown Houston.
The chances of our meeting again were negligible.