Hummingbirds are drawn to the atrium at the top of our stairwell.
The blue glass lantern looks like a feeder, I think.
But the atrium is like a fish wier. Once a bird flies in, it can’t get out.
There is something sad and poetic about this, as they flutter from corner to corner. Like little feathered Marcel Marceaus, they feel the edges of the glass box, probe the invisible, flap wings against the glass.
Freedom is a fraction of an inch away but the glass will not yield to their perceptions.
Sometimes, on the outside, a mate flies up to the glass. You can feel the concern.
“How long are you in for darling?”
“It looks like life, my sweet. And it is getting hot in this box.”
It does get hot.
I stand by the open door. Point toward the path to freedom.
But they never listen.
Only after panic dissipates, exhaustion and disorientation set in, will they listen to reason.
I gently offer up the prink-bristled broom. Gasping, heaving, the bird collapses on to the edge.
With a slow, gentle swoop, the broomhead sweeps through the open door. The fresh air is freedom. The hummingbird bolts. Not a wink, not a nod, not a thankyou.
Its mate careens out of nowhere and joins the flight to freedom.
It happens. Five times on Friday.
And what do you do for a living?
“I rescue hummingbirds.”