Saturday, July 13, 2019
Nourished in Nature
A while back, on a cool and cloudy Sunday morning, my husband and I were wondering where to go for a good, long walk. I was thinking False Creek, an area we frequent regularly, when he threw out the idea of the 11 km loop trail around Burnaby Lake. It had been more that a year since we last explored that area, so off we went.
About 1/2 hour in on our nature walk, I mentioned to him that seeing a hummingbird nest is still high up on my wish list but that I had no idea how to find one. Even though we have numerous hummers visiting our backyard feeders daily, finding a nest has been fruitless. I continued thinking out loud that maybe I should contact a local Birding Association for some direction. Moments later, my husband said he had a Facebook friend Rob who is an avid birder and photographer, and that maybe he would be able to give me some direction. He told me that they had known each other in high school but were in different grades and not spent much time together. Then a few years ago, Rob had sent my husband a FB request which he accepted.
It seemed like this man might be a good resource so I filed the idea to contact him in the future. Then a few minutes later, I decided - Why not now? I asked my husband for his phone and messaged Rob explaining who I was and asking if he had any suggestions on how to find these elusive nests.
About 45 minutes later, we were now on the other side of the lake when we passed a man and a woman walking together towards us. A few moments after we passed each other, my husband stopped in his tracks, turned around and walked back to where the couple had paused to take photos. He asked the man if his name was Rob. Oh yes, it was - the same Rob I had just messaged! We explained who we were and mentioned the text message which he had not yet noticed. After a short visit during which Rob shared, among other things, some information with us about hummers and their nests, my husband and I carried on walking the loop trail, both gobsmacked by what we had just experienced. My husband could not get over, a) he had actually taken note of the couple as we passed ( he is generally daydreaming, not noticing much in the way of details), b) walked back to ask the man's name (his nature is to second guess himself, then dismiss a thought like this), and incredulous that he would recognize him. Turns out that Rob only posts his nature photos on FB, none of himself, not even in his profile picture.
All of this unfolded on a day when I was deeply missing Michael. All morning, it had taken great resolve to keep the intense sadness from tipping into despair, the heartache only beginning to ease midway through our walk. I am still searching for the tiny hummingbird nest but confident that I will have the joy of seeing one someday. In the meantime, I cherish this sustaining experience of electrifying synchronicity.
Image courtesy of Brigitte Werner