The image keeps staying with me. This weekend we came outside to hear loud piercing squeaks — a green hummingbird caught in a black widow’s elaborate web. I used a stick and managed to get the tiny bird out, but then it flew off with its tail wrapped tight with webbing and trailing a heavy twig much bigger than its body. No way would it survive like that, and night was coming on. The bird perched on a high branch, shaking with its pulse, unable to fly and out of reach.
Finally, it was the last slip of light and I came to check, only to find the bird hanging upside-down and motionless with the webbing wrapped around the branch like a rope. I got a 6-foot-long stick and used all my effort to try to break the webbing, as the hummingbird flailed its wings and squeaked terribly. Would I break its wings by trying to help? Finally, I gathered all my will and made a fervent naked prayer for its release. But nothing happened, so I tried harder, believing life could be good despite appearances, believing we can all escape the unjust fetters that bind us.
“Spirit, please free this bird from its attachments!” I prayed once more, and my eyes could barely see fast enough to detect the hummingbird instantly slip from the webbing and soar free on perfect wings. My heart lifted to my throat, and then the bird returned to buzz by us in thanks and flit high to inspect its empty shackles, before flying off into the night, freed as the soul’s hope.
Again and again, I see that bird’s freedom moment. It keeps flashing in my mind. This is what healing hope looks like.
I had to share the magic.