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Hummingbirds and GPS

Watching a nature show recently, I learned that hummingbirds feed their babies up to 60 times per day. They can beat their wings about 53 times per second. The tiny, valiant creatures are also unstoppable in their travels. Although their brains are the size of a rice grain, these sharp birds know exactly what they need and where to go to find it. Perhaps we, too, are privy to our destination and have a firm handle on the steering wheel.

Hummingbirds need flowering plants available to them throughout the year. Some travel long distance to attain the plants. Although not all the hummingbird species are migratory, several do travel long distance. The Ruby-throated hummingbird falls into this category.

The migratory route of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds is a long one. They can travel from North America, through the Rockies, to Mexico, and Central America. According to, most of the species follow the US-Mexican coast, many others cross the Gulf of Mexico, a route with no landing for 800 to 1000 kilometers.

The Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been described as precision-flying creatures. It’s as if these brilliant creatures have a sort of GPS system inside their brains. They mark a position, navigate and ultimately arrive to their destination.

This petite creature got me thinking that we, ourselves, are like hummingbirds. This, in the way that our souls, too, have a built-in GPS system. Our souls know exactly where we’re going, and the travels (the experiences) which we need to navigate in order to get to our final destination. If we apply the hummingbird's journey to our own life travels, this could allow us to lighten our load. We might just be able to put our physical, human undertakings, on cruise control.

This idea can bring us relief, perhaps provide a reprieve from our sense of feeling overwhelmed. When we feel lost, unhinged or uncertain of action, perhaps we can let our soul’s GPS take the wheel. We’re going to “get there” regardless. So, let’s lighten our footing, just like this short-footed hummingbird. When we are feeling displace and unable to grasp our road map, best we can do is embrace the core of who we are, do our best and let our inner GPS ease our travels.

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