Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"The sisters"

The hummingbirds are still here, as evidenced by the above photo taken today. But not for long; soon they'll embark on their annual journey to South America for the winter.  These days, whenever I see one I am more aware of the fleeting nature of their time here, and of life in general.  In fact, I associate them with my sister who also loves hummingbirds. 

My sister loves hummingbirds so much that she asked a quilter to make her this quilt, which hangs over her bed:


I wish I could claim that I made that quilt for her, but I lack the talent required for such an endeavor. Since I happen to know several people who collect quilts and one who is an antique quilt dealer, I've seen an inordinate number of quilts in my lifetime.  None have impressed me like this one.

This summer, two female hummingbirds have been dominating my feeders.  I refer to them as "the sisters."  They seem inseparable, and share acrobatic ability. They remind me of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels the way they synchronize their flight patterns.  And sometimes they dovetail, as if performing an air ballet.  Whenever a third hummer joins them, the two sisters fly in tandem with the third weaving in and out of their pattern. 

When my sister was still mobile enough to be able to get to her computer, I sent her photos of "the sisters" regularly.  She loved them, and I have used our mutual interest in hummingbirds to try to cheer her up this past summer, as her health declined dramatically.  Since the end of August she has been unable to get out of bed, and the person who prints out her emails for her asked me to stop sending photos because they were impractical to print.  (I know I still have the option of getting prints made and mailing them to her, but I'm spoiled by the luxury of being able to share the thrill with her instantaneously.)

I still send my sister at least one email each day, which someone prints for her to read.  I describe the antics of "the sisters" knowing that she has seen enough photos of them to be able to imagine the sights.  I have told her that I don't want them to leave.  I am sure the symbolism is not lost on her.

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3 comments:

Lynilu said...

I'm so sorry about your sister. This is one of these moments in life that is simply and completely unfair. I'm glad you're keeping her up on the hummingbird antics. What a sweet way to stay in touch, and I agree that she understands the unspoken messages of love.

That quilt is absolutely gorgeous. Oh, my what talent it took to master that! She is wonderfully skilled, for certain.

Peace, Betty. And hugs for you.

Annie said...

Yes, you are right - she totally understands. Parting will be hard for both of you. Even though she may be exhausted after this long struggle and yearn to be free of her body, her heart and the good things you shared will always maintain a connection to you, soul essence to soul essence.
Your kindess is e-mailing her every day is wonderful.
(hugs)

Big Dave T said...

That truly is a beautiful quilt. And I have some experience with quilts because my mother-in-law was an accomplished quilter.

Birds are interesting animals, aren't they. I had a baby dove take refuge in some building materials around a new shed this past week. He let me take a couple pictures of him but NO close-ups.