When I lived in Orange County, California, I had a container garden on my deck, since we did not have a yard. With dozens of flowers blooming there, we were able to bring the outdoors in, and our tiny home felt more spacious. We lived on a ridge that caught the ocean breezes above Laguna Beach, and our windows were open all year long. One day, I hung a hummingbird feeder by the glass doors leading to my garden, and within a week a dozen little hummers were competing for nectar and darting about in my sunflowers, foxgloves and delphiniums. Looking back, I bet they were wondering what took me so long to serve up dinner. When sitting in chairs on the deck, the hummers would buzz about us, whirring by our eyes and ears so quickly they were almost invisible, except for the tiny breeze they left in their wake.
At that time, I worked as the executive editor of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a holistic medicine research journal. It was the job I’ve always loved best, prior to taking up my full time painting gig. Some of the doctors who were contributing writers believed hummingbirds, and all birds, have healing properties. They are like bursts of joy in our psyche, little lightning bolts of happiness that appear from time to time and help us to forget the daily troubles of our lives. Not just birds, but all living things in nature, from the tiny to the mighty, from plants to animals, have an energy and beauty that can restore us and inspire us. Here’s one story about a modern day hummingbird whisperer you might enjoy – a story about Melanie Barboni, a California scientist who has studied the moon and the stars but finds her greatest joy in these tiny, brilliant satellites right here on earth – hummingbirds.
I finished The Book of Joy last week, the story of the meeting between Desmond Tutu and The Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama was a contributing guest writer for Alternative Therapies while I worked there. How I wish I had been able to interview him! The Book of Joy is a story about lasting happiness in a changing world, and I highly recommend it. It was a like a healing balm. Artists by nature are so sensitive to the world and to others, and need all the nurturing they can get to restore the desire and passion to keep creating.
Do you have a book you love that helped you feel that good energy and healing light? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment here on my bloggy and share your recommendations!