The Arrival

“And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels…” (Malachi 3:17)

Every year at this time I begin to look for the first hummingbirds of the season to arrive. The early arrivals generally make their appearance on my oldest son’s birthday, April 9th. Sometimes a day early, sometimes a day late. Always weary and thirsty from their long journey. The red feeder with sweet nectar had been up a week.

This year, the big day came and went without a jeweled wing in sight. I watched for them with longing. I walked to the window time and again, at first with anticipation, and then with anxiety. I went out onto the porch and scanned the horizon. What could be keeping them?

I hung a new spring welcome flag and picked up some wayward trash from the yard. As I swept puffs of yellow pollen dust from the porch, I heard the familiar hum. I looked up with delight. Only a chubby bumble bee.

I went back into the house with a sigh. They’re going to make it. I’m sure of it. They know the way. Everything is prepared. They’re coming any time now. I’m sure of it.

Family members are filled with excitement. The atmosphere is charged with anticipation. One more time by the window. One more expectant glance.

I inhale a quick breath and let it out slowly. There at the feeder. A single traveler is home. She slipped in quietly. She made it safely. Sweet relief.

Celebration.

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