Spring Is Sprung & My Hummingbird Tale

Spring is sprung

The grass is rizz…

I wonder where the birdies is?

Every spring time I think of this little poem; it takes me right back to when I was nineteen and working at the Post Office in a small town two miles from the rural village in Suffolk where I lived.

A man called Reg worked there part-time as the office cleaner to earn a little extra cash in his retirement years. He had seen many years of active service during the Second World War and had that lean, sinewy strength of a man who had laboured all his life and who was fit as a fiddle despite his pack-a-day smoker’s habit.

I can see him now, leaning on his broom, sleeves rolled up and cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth reciting this silly little poem in his Suffolk accent, grinning from ear to ear! Incidentally, Reg went on to be an important part of my life for many more years, but that is a story for another time.

For now, let’s get back to the birdies!  Where are they indeed?  Well, they are everywhere it seems for spring has indeed sprung and today, not only did we have some glorious sunshine (hooray!) but my Sweet Robin swooped in for another quick ‘drop-in’, perching himself on my hanging basket right outside my kitchen door!

I couldn’t believe it, his beady little eye peeped right at me and he looked more cocky than ever.  Isn’t it funny though that whenever the sun shines my robin shows up?

Alas, my camera was not at the ready, but I did snap him in the tree again.   What with this, an abundance of yellow everywhere and the good news that my winter hanging basket is now at last a-bloom with narcissus daffodils after having lain dormant all these bitter, cold months, the evidence is here indeed of a spring in full bloom and so reason enough to be cheerful.

Sweet Robin In The Tree(c) Copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Sweet Robin In The Tree
(c) Copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Spring-Time Hanging Basket(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Springtime Hanging Basket
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Springtime Primrose(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Springtime Primrose
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

As I write this I think that ten years ago, this very month, I was preparing to leave California with my children after my marriage of twenty-one years had come to a spluttering end.

I have not been back since then.

Soon after I started this blog in January,  I felt compelled to write California Calling.  Now, in a few short days, my daughter and I will be jetting across the sea back to where it all began so many long years ago.

Before I left America, I took a  holiday with my children in San Diego, determined to visit as many places as possible with them before we left.  It was wonderful.  We explored the Zoo, the Safari Park and Sea World.  On the way home we stopped off to visit The Queen Mary in Long Beach and our old haunts in Los Angeles.  I still can’t believe I did all the driving!

One evening, back at our hotel in San Diego where we were staying,  I was sitting on the patio outside our room enjoying a long, tall ice-drenched Gin & Tonic (what else?) enjoying the stillness and quiet of the moment.

I remember a warm sea breeze picking up as the sun lowered in the Californian sky, yet in the midst of this idyll, I pondered the seriousness of my family’s situation and the harsh reality of all that we would be facing when, in a few short weeks, we would be so far away from all of this, leaving all that we knew and loved in California, to face a new, uncertain future in England.

The deep sense of loss and pain dug deep into my heart despite the calm and peace that surrounded me in that sunset moment.

Then…out of nowhere, a hummingbird, its colours gleaming like a rainbow in a prism, appeared right in front of me at eye level, a mere six inches away from my face.  There it hovered, looking right at me.  I froze in wonder, daring not even to breathe for fear of scaring it away.

For a few brief seconds, time stood still and there we were, that hummingbird and me, gazing at each other in perfect stillness save the quiet hum of its wings which were as light as lace.  I wanted to reach out and touch it but I could not and then it was gone, disappearing into sunset’s whisper.

I have often wondered about that moment and have never forgotten it.  I think that  hummingbird was sent to give me a message, to tell me to keep looking up and not to look down.  To always keep the beauty of life’s colours and warmth in full view ahead, not hidden away in the shadows below.

So now here I am, ten years later, writing this blog and telling you all about it.

Who would have thought it?

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  (E M Forster)

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri is a writer with work published in print magazines, anthologies and online. As a young British mum of three, she emigrated to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country, a full-time carer within her family. Her current WIP after completing her memoir is a psychological thriller.
This entry was posted in Family Life, Garden Snippets, My California, Sweet Robin and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Spring Is Sprung & My Hummingbird Tale

  1. The moment you describe with the hummingbird is beautiful. Your quote at the end reminds me of the old joke: “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” NIce post 🙂


  2. Wow Sherri, just beautiful and can’t wait to read or hear more about Reg!!! xoxo


  3. The description of Reg is so evocative – the type of man the likes of which we no longer see so often, in this fast paced, materialistic, money focussed, status obsessed world.
    Has simplicity and self-contentment got lost amongst all our possessions?
    A wonderful piece of writing – and so glad to see Sweet Robin has had an outing in the garden again!


    • sherrimatt says:

      Reg was indeed a man from a bygone era as you will see later on. He certainly possessed a contentment in his life that seems to elude most of us today. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my post Celestialmike111 🙂 xxx


  4. risingwoman says:

    Aha! So this post contained a hint, did it??



  5. Beautiful post. Those pictures are lovely and I wish I had that bird.


  6. Hi friend! You won’t believe this but yesterday we were at the park with the boys & a humming bird was within 4 feet of us. He was trying to get bugs out of the little holes in the wall. He did get one & he was there for a good 2 minutes!! I had a camera but was so mesmerized I forgot to take a photo! Of course Genevieve & I had just read your blog.. Does this mean you are really coming!!!!? xoxoxoxoxoxoxo


  7. Oh Sherri, thank you for sharing this link! Yes, this was written before I was blessed to have met you.
    The hummingbird is such a magical bird. I do believe they carry messages. I love them!
    I still can’t get over how tiny your Robins are…ours are HUGE!
    Thank you for this! xo


    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…as you have blessed me…thanks so much for coming over to read this pre-Jill post 🙂 I just had to, knowing how special they are to you and yes, I do believe that they carry messages too! This encounter was very powerful, I’ve never forgotten it. It brought a promise of better things to come and gave me hope that the kids and I would be okay…It’s so great to know that they are so special to you too 🙂
      Yes, your Robins are much bigger, I was always amazed at that!!! They are as big as our Blackbirds or Thrushes!!
      I do miss those darling hummingbirds though… 🙂 xo


  8. Pat says:

    Sherri — don’t think I knew back when you first wrote this in 2013, but can see your writing was as good then as it ever was. You’re destined to write, my friend. Enjoyed your memories. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, dear Pat, your lovely comment has made my day, thank you so much, especially as I’ve felt down about my writing lately. Can’t believe I wrote this 5 years ago…where does the time go? The fact that you’re still reading my blog means the world to me. Sharing the story, my friend – that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? And how I love to share with you. God bless you Pat, love to you always… ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pat says:

        I’m happy to make your day happier, Sherri, and don’t know where the time goes. It passes so fast and, like you, I’ve not been very active either on my blog (been almost 6 months). Hopefully, I’m looking to get back to it soon.

        Always look for your stories and enjoy reading about you and your life. Connects all of us somehow . . . those memories and moments in time.

        Love and hugs and keep writing — even if it’s not as frequent. It’s nice to know you’re still there. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hope you get back soon Pat, but don’t worry, as I know exactly what it’s like to be away a long time. Let me know when you are as I’ve turned off all notifications as I can’t manage it otherwise, I get too stressed with all of them. So I keep in touch with those I can, and you are at the top of the list my friend 🙂 But even so, knowing we are both still ‘there’ and in touch whereever our paths cross means so much. Our friendship goes beyond blogging! I’m on my fourth and what I hope my final draft of my memoir now and hoping I can soon get it edited and then to publishing. But a lot of work to do first, and that is my priority so far as writing is concerned, but I will try to post here as and when just to keep the Summerhouse ticking over. Connecting through our stories is so important. I feel as if I’m sitting around your kitchen table chatting with you just through these little conversations…you are always there dear Pat, and that does make me so very happy indeed! Take care my dear friend, and big love and hugs to you always… 🙂 ❤ xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

          • Pat says:

            Awww, you don’t know how much your words mean to me, Sherri. Feeling a bit unplugged these days but in a good way. Just you mentioning sitting around the kitchen table and chatting stirs a warmth in my heart. Maybe, a rekindling for something. I don’t know what, yet. But, been feeling lately there’s still something I need to do.

            I’m so proud of you in your writing and the persistence and effort you made in composing your memoir. No doubt, it has been quite a purging and refreshing journey. I’m looking forward to when it’s completed and published. Your light is always out there shining bright. Love and hugs to you always. I value our friendship and connection. God bless xxoo Hugs!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Likewise my dear friend. Sometimes we need to be unplugged to take in the different seasons of our lives. But we can sit and chat anywhere at any time and that’s what’s so lovely. Maybe you will return to your blog when the time is right, as you felt led, maybe not. But what matters is that you do what you need to do for today. Thank you so much always dear Pat for your love and support, you’ve been with me through my entire writing journey and that means so much to me. It has been and still is a mighty challenge, and I hope I will be up to the task. Lovely to chat…God bless you always and hugging right back! 🙂 ❤ 🙂 xoxo

              Liked by 1 person

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