A couple of weeks ago, as I walked past my kitchen window on my way to cook breakfast, a flash of iridescent green caught my eye.  Oh, my goodness!  A hummingbird!  Although they do nest in the area, it had been years since I had seen one in my own yard.  I began to watch for him, and several days later saw him hovering over the raspberry patch.  I decided it was time to find a place for a feeder and encourage him to spend time where I could watch his antics.  A friend who heard my story provided a feeder that had been lost in the recesses of her storage closet, and I stuck a wrought iron trellis in the center of the berry patch and hung the feeder from one of its decorative loops.

Either Mr. Hummingbird and I are on different schedules, or he has no desire to dine at my feeding station.  One website suggested hanging red ribbons around the feeder, since hummingbirds are attracted to the color red.  I added ribbons to my trellis, and made it look festive, but still no hummingbird.  After a week, I considered taking it down and simply accepting that my little friend had been passing through but had found a better place for nourishment.  Days passed, and my need to remove the feeder didn’t have nearly the same sense of urgency I had felt when I was anticipating daily visits from my little green friend.  My disappointment turned to resignation, and I really didn’t think about the feeder until Sunday morning.

I had gone to the garden to pick peas; and as I stood in the early morning sunshine, some movement near the feeder caught my eye.  Could it be?  I turned slowly to look, not wanting to ruffle the breeze and betray my presence, and there I saw them — two goldfinches, perched awkwardly on the edge of the hummingbird feeder and tentatively sipping its nectar.  ‘They must be teenagers,’ I thought.  ‘Their mother sends them out to have some seeds for breakfast, and they end up at the soda fountain!’

I stood still as a statue — or maybe a garden gnome — and took in their bright yellow beauty until they had their fill and flew away.  I had been expecting hummingbirds, but instead I got goldfinches.  Each is beautiful in his own unique way.  Once again I realize that life never fails to surprise us.  We have expectations that do not always come to fruition, and sometimes we feel disappointed that the outcome is not what we had planned or hoped or dreamed.  My yellow-feathered finch friends reminded me not to let disappointment block my view of the surprising things that do come my way.  There is more to life than hummingbirds.  I know, because I have seen a goldfinch.