I have been at a loss for words to describe this following encounter I had whilst visiting Santa Teresa in Peru’s cloud forest jungle. I have been conflicted by the beauty of it because I cannot proceed with the remainder of my Peruvian tale until I have attempted to relay this part.
I awoke that first morning in my tree-house style room (Eco Quechua Lodge) with the warm breeze gently swaying the light-filled drapes that hung inside the wooden rails, where fell the jungles feet along the Urubamba (Vilcanota) River.
Birds were chirping and most likely there was a nest of them in the highest eaves of my room. I had packed sparingly and since I had chosen a room with the greatest view, forsaking the favour of an en-suite version, I had a little distance to travel to the nearest shower. The towels provided gave scant coverage so I wrapped myself in a sheet and waddled to the nearest cubicle crossing the stepping stone path.
Showering whilst looking out across the tree tops was bliss but nothing like the experience that was yet to come.
Sitting at the breakfast table on the platform overlooking the cloud forest on a balmy sunny morning, sipping papaya juice, I gazed beyond the flowering plants that popped their heads idly along the balcony. I had not yet deciphered the static chirps that hinted at the spectacle that was about to transfix my senses.
In nano-seconds my eyes were deceived by objects beyond the flowering plants. They appeared and disappeared so fast I had not time to ascertain what flickered there. And then it did appear. One single of the flickering bodies presented itself swiftly before my eyes.
For this brief moment I held myself on the border of my emotions unsure which was the most appropriate. I wasn’t breathing at this point.
The story of Peter Pan tickles my imagination and something of this creature, fanning its wings so fast they could barely be perceived as wings, beheld the magic of a visitation by Tinkerbell.
A joyous feeling began to overflow my heart at last deciding this was a most special experience a beautiful encounter with a humming bird ‘Colibrí’. It hovered mid-air for those brief moments only two arm lengths from my side and some seconds later flew out into the trees as swiftly as it had appeared.
I sat there mesmerised. This smallest of birds with the fastest of beating wings, with versatility of movement in any direction even upside down or backwards, had chosen to present itself before me.
I later discovered that some Peruvians believe it to be a messenger. The ‘Colibrí’ (Humming Bird) was certainly significant to the ancient Nazca civilisation as they featured this creature centrally in their mysterious Nazca lines. The meaning has been lost to present culture however but it wasn’t lost to me.
A humbling grace fell upon me. I felt immense gratitude. This encounter with beauty is held high amongst my most special experiences ever in my life.
That night I slept with my curtains parted so as to entice another visitation of this magical creature in my waking hours.
I was being quite wishful but realised even more that I had been blessed just once and once was more than I could be hopeful for.
©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing Blog