Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy, peace, and celebration. These tiny birds with long, thin bills and iridescent plumage feed from flowers while hovering and make a characteristic humming sound when in flight. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning, and laughter is life’s sweetest creation.
From as early as I can remember, I have experienced moments I wished I could seize and make last forever. I realized that if I committed those brief seconds to memory, I could store them in my mind to reminisce and to savour at my leisure. It was not long before I began to appreciate that life is a sequence of memorable moments that enrich our daily existence, and I started the practice of reliving precious memories every night before I fell asleep, hopeful of indelibly etching them in my mind to be recalled at will.
By the age of seven, my daughter had determined and sagely expressed, “Mom, you live your life in your head. Most of the time, you aren’t aware of what’s happening around you.” Perhaps because I was walking into walls or going outdoors without coats—hers and mine!—she was aided in her assessment by rather conspicuous clues.
Since I was born and raised on a farm, and because I wanted to emulate my revered grandfather, I soon learned to appreciate the tranquility and solitude of our surrounding universe. I could walk for hours and never feel alone as I communed with God and Mother Nature. Often on my solitary strolls, I would review what was occurring in my life and even create and rehearse dialogue for my future interactions.
In retrospect, I believe my childhood idiosyncrasies set the stage for my style of expression as an author. When I am writing, I need to be in the moment with my muse, to be in the scenes with my characters, to envision their actions and behaviours, and to listen and to hear their conversations. Once I “become one” with each of my characters—when I capture how she or he feels, thinks, talks, and thrives—my story unfolds.
By nature, writing is a reclusive activity, and I become lost in the space-time continuum. Over the past two years, however, I have begun to recognize a subtle distinction between being a writer and being an author. After three remarkable launches and more appearances than I have counted, I now realize that, in many ways, the two roles are the antithesis of each other.
For me, the most rewarding aspect of becoming an author has been meeting and interacting with so many of my devoted readers. Sometimes there are no words to express what is deepest in our hearts. Still, I would be remiss if I did not thank each of you for sharing such memorable moments. Whenever I recreate them in my mind, I float free of time and space, and I become a hummingbird.