Friday Thoughts: Hummingbird and Passionflowers



Martin Johnson Heade, “Hummingbird and Passionflowers”, (ca. 1875-85) (The Met)


The delicate little bird that resides within each of us.

It hops to and fro. It stands startlingly still.

Very often we are the very ones who chase it away.

But it doesn’t fly far.

Just to the closest branch, that’s just beyond our reach.

And it looks back at us, as if to ask, “Why are you afraid?”

The tiny head of a tiny bird, slightly cocked to the side—a question mark floats from its beak.

It longs to return, to live within us, to build a nest, to raise its young.

But it doesn’t rush back.

No, it waits.

It waits for us to ask for it to return.

It’s a patient creature, that tiny bird.

One may be tempted to say it’s not very smart, but that’s not it at all.

It’s simple. It’s holy. It knows who it is. It’s not afraid of the fall.


—Howard Hain



2 thoughts on “Friday Thoughts: Hummingbird and Passionflowers

  1. Gail Smyder

    When I read this I think GRACE We don’t deserve this free gift, but because of total unconditional Love it is ours. I won’t see a hummingbird the same again. Yesterday I had a very special MRI tech grace me with his care. Turns out Fr. Victor he is a member of St. Therese parish where you were for the Novena and his son attended St. Benedict School where I was just in time for noon Mass after the test. We promised prayer for each other. Then I met a classmate at Mass, we had lunch and she shared an experience from years back which was miraculous. A YES DAY.

  2. Isabel Nepomuceno

    A beautiful painting inspired by PASSION flowers and a little creature longing for us to return and live with Him without fear. Thank you, HH for a deep reflection.

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