Tag Archives: encouragement

A Little Package of Big Inspiration

Fill the frame
The hummingbirds have long since moved on from where I am now to warmer places for the winter. I don’t blame them. More than once in the past few months I also considered flying south until the weather warmed up.

When they are in town, these little acrobats always amaze me with their antics. Trying to get a picture of them teaches me great patience as well. They move fast, rarely stay in one place very long, and tend to be a little apprehensive around me and my big black camera; even when using a zoom lens and sitting very still a ways away.

RubyThroatAcro

The average hummingbird weighs in at a whopping 3 grams. For comparison; the nickel in your pocket weighs 4.5 grams. It seems that the hummingbird is a lot of fluff. They are also one of the most aggressive bird species around and have no hesitation to take on big blue jays, crows, and even hawks that infringe on their territory.

As small as they are; there are some specific species that migrate more than 2000 miles every year. A few even include a 500 mile nonstop journey across the Gulf of Mexico. Makes me tired just trying to comprehend that trip.

As migratory birds, hummingbirds serve two very important purposes. They can transport resources between ecosystems located thousands of miles apart. They also assist with pollination, which is vital to many trees and flowers that would not be able to reproduce without the aid of the mighty hummingbird.

All this is interesting to some degree, but why do I care about this pocket-sized bird?

To me it is a small package with large-sized inspiration all around it.

I’m encouraged that the size of this bird does not impact its vision of what it can achieve. Size plays no part in deterring it from pushing toward the goals it needs to accomplish. The hummingbird doesn’t stop to worry about the bigger competition, larger obstacles, or percived impediments. It can move quicker and in different directions than the larger birds it encounters. There is no indication that this bird spends any wasted time considering areas of weakness and uses all its unique attributes as strengths for accomplishing the task at hand.

The hummingbird does not appear to have a confidence problem; and it proves itself with remarkable feats that would not be considered reasonable by just looking at its stature. I like the way this little bird thinks big.

All business and all great projects start as a small thought or idea, but with proper nurturing they can grow into big accomplishments and a create lasting impact even from a small footprint.

Like the pint-sized squeaker; I’ll continue to focus on the staying power of consistent determination and watch small philosophies become large successes.

Past Meets Present and Keeps Me Going Forward

Past Meets PresentHead down and arms out as I push hard against the heavy hanger door. Cold steel pushes back against the palms of my hands and the loud squeal of sliding rusty metal permeates the quiet of the morning. My breath is visible in the air around my head, suspended in the frigid spell of dawn. A distant rumble shakes the sleepiness from my mind and the wandering thoughts bouncing around become more focused. I smell the aroma of burning fuel and oil as I’m snapped awake by the stiff breeze generated when four large radial engines are summoned to move history from the 1940’s to the present and get it airborne. In awe I watch as a ghost from the past ambles by on rubber shoes and slowly lifts itself into the waiting blue sky.

Excitement replaces sleepiness and I can’t wait to follow that path upward as I get my less notable craft ready to go.

Bird are born to fly. Humans had to work hard to accomplish the same feat. I appreciate the dedication and sacrifices made by the many who poured their heart and soul into the goal of taking mankind from a ground based being who was stuck to the earth by the glue of gravity and giving us the freedom to change our perspective skyward. I love to fly and putting into words the feeling it gives me is one of the few things I struggle to describe. The closest I can come is an excerpt from the most famous poems about it:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of …

–John Magee “High Flight”

I wish I could go back and watch that first interaction; the first time someone told someone else they were going to try and fly. I can only imagine the laughter and ridicule that followed. Fly like a bird? Are you crazy? I am certain that same conversation played out many times again and again over the years, but with a different subject. You are going to make a pen that you don’t ever have to dip in an ink well? Are you crazy? You want to make a contraption that travels faster than 35mph on wheels? Are you crazy? You want to make a boat that travels across the oceans but does not use a sail? Are you crazy? You are going to get into that aircraft and fly faster than the speed of sound? Are you crazy?

I wonder what our world would look like today if any of those who challenged the common sense of the times listened to the nay-Sayers, put down their work and wandered off? I wonder how many times I have really been my own worst enemy in this same department and convinced myself that the goals I have are foolish ones?

The B-17 pictured above was ahead of it’s time and changed the course of history for many people. Someone had an idea and was encouraged to follow it. The rest really is history.

I have ideas and I have dreams. I don’t need to change history for many, but I do need to make sure I don’t let my own fears or the negative words of others change mine.

Time for me to fly. I never was very good at keeping my head out of the clouds.

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