Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Once upon a time, a hummingbird finally grew to womanhood. Her process of maturity was a long and arduous series of choosing circuitous paths that seemingly led nowhere, rugged uphill paths that appeared to never end, and occasional smooth paths that led to meadows full of flowers or the coolness of a sparkling waterfall pouring itself into a mirrored pond.  When hummingbird stumbled across these harbors of beauty and peace, she would know true joy as she flitted from one flower to another in the warm sunshine or flew through the colors of the rainbows brought into being from the union of falling water and sunlight.

But the time always arrived when hummingbird would have to venture out into the unknown again and try a new path. She was always confident that the joy she discovered in those special moments with the colors of the flowers and rainbows would carry her easily down each new road and help her overcome any obstacle she encountered during her journey. The farther hummingbird flew from the meadows and ponds, however, the more difficult it felt to wing her way through her new experiences. “I know what will help me feel joy all the time,” hummingbird declared. “I will find a mate who can share my burdens with me and lighten my load.” So, hummingbird set out to find a companion on her life’s journey.

Hummingbird first encountered badger. “Hmmm,” hummingbird said to herself, “this creature reminds me of myself. He’s very active – busy all the time. We would understand each other and equally share our responsibilities.” So, hummingbird and badger promised to become partners and set out down a new road which neither one had ventured to explore before. After a while, however, hummingbird noticed that badger was not equally sharing responsibility for the success of their journey. He tended to forfeit his creative aggressive power through action and became totally unproductive, or his aggressive nature would manifest in overpowering emotional outbursts which scared hummingbird. “This is not what I need,” thought hummingbird, so she turned down a fork in the path and began looking for a more suitable companion.

Hummingbird next encountered coyote. Coyote was very entertaining and told many stories. Hummingbird began to lose the fear learned from her interactions with badger, and believed joy had again entered her life. “Hmmm,” wondered hummingbird, “Here is a partner who could make life fun again.” So hummingbird and coyote promised to become partners and set out down a new road which neither one had ventured to explore before. After a while, however, hummingbird found that the more time she spent with coyote, the less she really knew him. His stories were entertaining, but he was constantly tricking her into believing things that were not true. This caused her great pain. Hummingbird realized that the joy she felt was based on illusion.  “This is not what I need,” thought hummingbird, so she turned down a fork in the path and began looking for a more suitable companion.

Hummingbird next encountered dog. Dog was very attentive and always expressed his feelings openly. He declared that he was one of the few creatures whose loyalty was unrelenting. He made hummingbird feel safe. “Hmmmm,” mused hummingbird, “Here is a creature that will allow me to trust again.” So hummingbird and dog promised to become partners and set out down a new road which neither one had ventured to explore before. After traveling for a time, dog started to ruminate about his former partner constantly. Everything they encountered reminded him of incidents from the past when he lived with that other creature. Hummingbird began to feel very bad about herself. “Why doesn’t he honor me as he promised he would? I am so different from that other who hurt him,” hummingbird cried to herself one dreary afternoon. It was then hummingbird realized that dog’s loyalty still belonged to his former mate, no matter how mistreated he had been. Finally, quite unexpectedly, hummingbird found dog playing along the side of the road with a creature resembling the one from the past that dog refused to release and relentlessly kept alive in his mind. “This is not what I need,” thought hummingbird, so she turned down a fork in the path and began looking for a more suitable companion.

Hummingbird next encountered frog. Frog was very wise. He could live on land or in water, allowing for great flexibility. “This is an excellent trait,” considered hummingbird. Frog also had learned much in his excursions into the watery land of emotion. He was able to let go. “Hmmmm,” thought hummingbird, “Here is a creature who will honor me and focus his thoughts on our time together.” So hummingbird and frog promised to become partners and set out down a new road which neither one had ventured to explore before. After a while, however, hummingbird noticed that frog preferred to spend most of his time in the water of emotion. He was so focused on feeling and releasing that he really had no time to devote to anyone else. Besides, he constantly got her wings wet and she couldn’t fly. “This is not what I need,” thought hummingbird, so she turned down a fork in the path and began looking for a more suitable companion.

By this time, hummingbird was very weary. “Perhaps there is no one who is suitable to companion me on my life’s journey,” thought hummingbird with great disappointment. So, she decided that she would remain for an extended time playing in the next meadow and pond she encountered. It didn’t take long for hummingbird to find such a peaceful haven for it was the spring of the year. But the joy she had known before in such surroundings now eluded her.

After a time, hummingbird noticed another creature in her meadow, drinking from the water of the pond. It was an exquisite unicorn, a creature believed to exist only in the minds of those with active imaginations and faith in all possibilities, surrounded by a field of light so bright that it took her breath away. “Little hummingbird,” the unicorn called. “I have something to teach you.” The hummingbird willingly flew to unicorn’s side. “You have learned much,” the unicorn continued, “but you must stop judging others and see the perfection in yourself. Then what you want will be drawn to you.” Hummingbird believed unicorn’s words for a creature that shown with such brilliance could only speak the truth. Hummingbird took heart and again darted joyfully from blossom to blossom. But this time she began to notice which blossoms pleased her the most with their fragrance and hue. And instead of quickly flying through the colors of the rainbow, she chose to remain suspended within the bands of color that gave her a sense of wholeness.

A year’s cycle passed and hummingbird remained in her meadow near the pond. Early, one new spring morning, hummingbird heard a terrible sound and lifted her head from the blossom she was enjoying. Lumbering out into the pond was a huge, honey-colored bear, roaring as the cold water lapped against his body. Flecks of gold and red sparkled as the sun shone down on him. With intense interest, hummingbird flew over to this amazing creature she had never seen before. “I’m hummingbird. Who are you?” she asked. “I’m bear,” he replied, “and I’m just awaking from my sleep.” Hummingbird began to ask bear many questions and they spent hours discussing things that were important to them. Hummingbird found bear, who had a tendency to think everything through thoroughly, a companion worthy of her quick mind, her willing spirit, and sharing those things she valued on this earthly journey. The things hummingbird could not do, bear could. And the things that bear could not do, hummingbird could. Most importantly, they found joy in just being together.

So hummingbird and bear willingly became partners and set out down a new road which neither one had ventured to explore before. Occasionally they encountered moments that they could not share – the times when bear must return to his cave and his periods of introspection and those times when hummingbird desires to remain suspended within the bands of color in the rainbow that gave her a sense of wholeness. But they proceeded without fear and never lost their sense of joy and gratitude in finding each other.  And they lived happily ever after. 

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