The buzzing was unmistakable. The chirping sounded odd. At first glance, it appeared to be a cicada smashing against the unopened window seven feet above the concrete floor in a desperate attempt to escape from the garage. But cicadas don’t chirp. At closer glance, my husband realized it was not an insect at all but rather a delicate humming bird. “Grab your camera!” he shouted. I quickly retrieved my Canon Sureshot and set the shutter for “speed of light fast”. Try as I could, I was unable to capture this flighty creature on film.

Normally, we would simply leave the door open knowing a bird would eventually find its way out. However, this little guy was struggling. He could not maneuver himself low enough to clear the overhead doors and find his way to freedom. We watched helplessly and soon realized he was in trouble and needed our assistance.

For several months, this humming bird has been visiting the bright red flowers gracing the deck outside my office.* Each morning he appears for a split second, never resting long enough for me to snap his picture. In the blink of an eye he appears then quickly vanishes, leaving me feeling both elated and disappointed.

But today was different. He desperately needed our help. I ran to the deck and grabbed the plant. Resting it atop my head (I felt as ridiculous as I looked), I stood near the window hoping it would attract him and I could gently guide him to safety. My husband tried capturing him in the underside of an umbrella. Next, I climbed atop a 6 foot ladder coaxing him with a feather duster (made perfect sense). Nothing worked. With each flutter of his wings, his strength diminished; the humming decreased; the chirping ceased altogether. Suddenly, he disappeared behind some paint cans on the workbench. Without hesitation, my husband gently scooped him up and took him outside where I had placed the houseplant. He sat motionless; we feared the worst. Then he opened his eyes and looked around. Not eager to leave the hand that saved him, he took refuge there for at least two minutes while I snapped frame after frame. Then he took flight to the oak tree above. We were elated!

But the story doesn’t end there. Two days later, while in my office, who reappears but our little friend. This time he was not scurrying to leave. He checked out the red flowers as usual but then the most amazing thing happened – he flew straight towards me, hovering inches from the glass doors separating us. As if there to thank me for what we had done, he returned to the flowers, then back to me again, repeating this pattern several times. We were eye level, a mere 24 inches dividing us. But there was an undeniable message in his glance – one of deep gratitude for a simple act of kindness. He has since returned in the same pattern on several more occasions.

How easy it would be for me to dismiss this event as meaningless.  But I believe no good deed goes unrewarded by the Universe. Blessings often come in small packages, some as diminutive as our humming bird.  But they are no less meaningful. Do not disregard them for you will miss out on some of life’s greatest treasures.  Kindness + Gratitude= Joy.