We’ve had the sweet privilege of playing host to a family of hummingbirds hatching in the branches of our bougainvillea at our front door this week. The eye of one of the babies is pictured above. He or she has only been alive for 11 days. Yet the beauty in this (enlarged) half-inch square of a 2-gram creature has me spinning.
If you look closely, you see what appears to be a delicate whip stitch or traditional “Indian blanket stitch” around her tiny left eye. It almost seems artisanal — lovingly crafted and carefully spaced. It appears to be more creative, skilled handiwork, rather than some predetermined DNA design. In any case, I find it to be quite masterful.
What strikes me about this is — for thousands of years, man has expressed his innate need to create art (from European cave paintings and ancient Egyptian sculpture — to the post-war abstract expressionists) — and often with some struggle and considerable angst. But great art can be found everywhere — with no struggle, no angst. It’s as simple as stepping outside, getting up close, and really looking. Nature makes sure we never lack inspiration.
Seeing our little baby bird’s face up close made me grateful, humbled, and awestruck — by the brilliance of an artist I’d really like to get to know better.