My mother was a hummer. My grandma was a hummer. My sisters were hummers. My daughters are hummers. Somehow the humming gene skipped me. Don’t get me wrong, I love music. I like singing along with the Eagles, “I’m standin on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…” or “You’re so vain, you prob’ly think this song is about you…” I’m just not a hummingbird.
Spontaneous humming comforts me, like everything is right with the world. A side effect is when someone hums something my brain inhales and it sticks—over and over and over. But that isn’t a bad thing.
As a kid, when my mother and older sisters hummed, I thought that meant they were happy and one with the universe. When my daughters hummed as kids, I thought the same thing. They were happy and content with their world. It comforted me.
I took my hummingbirds for granted, because now I don’t hear much humming anymore. The real hummingbirds that visit in summer are heartening, but they don’t hum tunes (maybe I could train one). My Mom and sisters left the planet to be heaven-hummers. My daughters moved out on their own. I stare at the dogs, waiting for them to hum a tune. They don’t. They just stand by the pantry, wag, and beg for treats.
When my daughters visit, I hear snippets of humming as they move around the house. I’m instantly pacified. My breathing slows, my heart’s all warm and fuzzy. It feels like old times. When they leave after spending the day with me and it’s quiet again, I realize how precious our time together really is.
Some would say this time together is a blessing.
A blessing by who or what, I want to ask. I’m curious in today’s anything-goes religious culture: Are you blessed by God, Jesus, Buddha, Karma, The Universe, Scientology, Venus, Zeus, trees, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? I’ve noticed the word ‘blessed’ is trendy to say now, like the word ‘awesome’ was (and still is) twenty years ago. I picture those who say they’re blessed being sprinkled with holy water or a radiant spotlight shines down on them from a cloud, leaving a halo glowing over them and little cherubs fluttering around. Or an alien spaceship lights them up, like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters.
My smart-alecky self wants to say, “Please specify who or what is blessing you, I’m curious.” I don’t say this for fear I will offend or come across as an intellectual agnostic. But it’d be fun to know; writers are curious creatures.
Then I reason, who cares? It doesn’t matter who or what blesses us. If I believe my lawn chair blesses me, then that is my personal belief. As long as we’re grateful for little things like daughters humming, as we tick away our days.
How we believe good fortune comes our way is a deeply spiritual thing and means something unique and different to each of us.
Sharing humming time with loved ones is indeed precious. It’s one of those gifts that drifts in and out of our lives; we aren’t even aware of it till one day when the gift drifts out. The next time my daughters visit and hum around the house, maybe I’ll say, “I’m blessed,” just to see if anyone asks who or what is blessing me.
And then I’ll say, “Does it matter?”
© Lois Paige Simenson and The Alaska Philosophaster, 2015, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Alaska Philosophaster with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. LIPS