Saturday 24 June 2023

'Scenes from a Hummingbird Feeding' by J.B. Stone

They fly in the motion of gyroscopes, pinwheel wings that move like ventilation fans. Aiming beaks like needlepoint pipes, snaking rivers of nectar, funneled into the bibs of rice grain-sized throats. Carrying the weight of honeysuckle, they celebrate post-meal, dancing and swaying in the rhythm of a microcosmic air show.

There’s no fourth of July Weekend in a hummingbird’s feeding. There’s no Kid Rock tune; no national anthem; no guardsman standing at attention; no tributes to unwanted bombs; no parade of false flags, no caravan of coolers filled with cheap beer and Fireball, no jet streams leaving skid-marks in the sky. Maybe that’s why I skipped heading to the Blue Angels Air Show at Jones Beach yesterday. It was the type of spectacle my father, usually a man of few words, and even less emotions, couldn’t shut up about.

On independence day, there’s just me, sitting on a maroon park bench, in the middle of an aviary, at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, opening my hands, birdseeds dust-piled into my palms, giving them a well-deserved treat—giving myself a much-needed escape route.

I’m not sure if world peace is achievable. Yet, when one of the hummingbirds flies up to me, perches their tiny, harmless talons, nestling their bundled plumage atop my knuckles, found and fostered on the rigid platform of my roughest, most-worn bones: I can see the closest thing to it.

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