I recall “living” on the patio distinctly four years ago after Hurricane Lili blew through our small South Louisiana town. We “lived” on the patio because living hummingbirds.jpginside was untenable without electricity in the brutual heat and humidity that Lili left in her wake.

There we sat, gazing at the upside-down-on-the-crushed-chain-link-fence metal storage building and the ankle-deep tree debris covering the lawn, hearing gas-engine generators droning throughout the neighborhood as folks strove to sustain a few of the most basic creature comforts, and drenching in the perspiration and the nastiness that settled around us like sea-fog.

But buzzing about and darting to and fro throughout those four or five miserable days on the patio, unimpressed by the wreckage or the humidity or our misery, the hummingbirds were having a blast. Sometimes, by their manner of dive-bombing from the tree branches across the alley, their giggly clucking, and their buzzing inches past our startled eyes as we sat on the patio in our wilted condition, I supposed they were  taunting us.hummingbird.jpg

And all of this made me wonder what those silly little birds did during the height of the storm. Where did they hide? How did they keep safe from the snatching, violent gusts of wind and rain? How did the same tree branches that were stripped of their leaves in the tempest preserve and protect these creatures? Were they as stressed out and terrified as we were during the peak of the storm as they clung to whatever branch or nest that sheltered them? How can they be so happy now while I’m so miserable? I sure did wonder.

I took these pictures of this season’s hummers on the patio just this morning. No hurricanes in sight, just a normal late-summer Saturday morning, so I can retreat to the air-conditioned comfort of the house whenever I’ve had enough of the heat and humidity. But seeing the little boogers this morning made me remember those days four years ago and wonder, “Where do Hummingbirds go during a hurricane?”

The answer to that question, I’m sure, amounts to one of those “His eye is on the Sparrow” explanations.

That fact should comfort us mere mortals and help us recall that the air-conditioning that fails us in the storm is our own man-made (and faulty) attempt at self-provision. The example of the merry little Hummingbird instructs us well.