My brother gave me a book by some psychotherapist-type, who writes about successful [quote-unquote] living. Actually, this guy has helped me in the past. He helped me see that I had been working with no boundaries, that it is OK to say "No" and that I am not responsible for how another person feels.
I forget these lessons on a regular basis. Luckily, however, the king has splendid boundaries, and regularly models for me what "normal" people are supposed to act like. You know: ask a question that doesn't presuppose a positive response, and live unswayed by emotional blackmail attempts. I don't think he'd recognize a blackmail attempt if it hit him over the head, to tell you the truth. He'd just walk out of the trap as if it wasn't there.
And it isn't there, for him!
But that's not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to get back to MoFo, the hummingbird, who flew the coop a couple weeks ago when - without notice - all hummingbirds suddenly disappeared. It's still hot as summer here, but no more hummingbirds. (My dad says that its not the temperature that controls, it's the big hummingbird-clock-in-the-sky).
So - there I was with a fresh batch of hummer nectar and no more hummers. Bummer!
We still kept an eye out, but 2 or 3 weeks have gone by with no appreciable dip in the nectar level. And no sign of MoFo on the overhead wire. Maybe Dad was right.
This weekend, however, there seemed to be a change.
"Wasn't the feeder nearly full?"
"Yeah! Look at that - it's down nearly an inch. . . ."
Over the weekend, it went down steadily. Now there's only an inch or so of nectar left. What in the world?! There's been no sign of hummingbirds. There's been the occasional wasp, granted, but not anything that would account for that kind of displacement. It must be leaking, I thought. I finally looked at it closely this morning. I didn't see anything. No leaking. OK - an ant at one of the portals. Wait a minute - two ants. No, three. One's leaving. Here comes another. OK. . . .
Focusing on the black wrought iron stand that suspends the feeder in the garden, I finally made out a line of ants. Black on black, you know, hard to see. Well now, two lines: one coming and one going. The perfect illustration for the lesson psycho-doctor advocates for successful living:
Work like an ant.
A little at a time. One swallow at a time. And they have managed the equivalent of draining a small lake. And storing up a whole lot of food for the winter! Over the weekend.
I didn't have the heart to interrupt them. But if they make a move towards my kitchen, they're history. And meanwhile, I gotta go make like an ant. Add another word.