Now that the season is becoming more dry, leaves are constantly blowing in, especially with the strong winds from the Atlantic. As quickly as leaves are swept up, they return.
Yesterday I noticed a leaf in the corner of my room near the sliding door, but I didn't pay it much attention. I saw it again today ... but something made me do a double take and I realised it was not a leaf. It was a green and browny-orange hummingbird—just like the kind that often flies into my apartment, hovers near me and flits back out again.
Twice I had heard strange noises coming from my room and, upon investigation, saw a green and browny-orange hummingbird beating against the glass window. Both times it allowed me to hold it for long enough to open the window and set it free. It was both a fantastic feeling and an honour to hold a bird that is so fast, fragile and fleeing.
Now as I held the dead body, I wondered if it was my little friend—the same bird that always came. Just that this time I had not been around to open the window for it and it had scared or beaten itself to death against the glass. Its eyes were open and strangely enough, its body was still warm and supple. Normally birds get stiff and coldish when they die. What I also found interesting was that it had obviously been on the floor for a while, but no ants had yet started to consume its body.
The funeral was small ... me and 12 year old N, who dug a hole with a small shovel. I placed two mango leaves cross-crossed on the bird's body, then we topped the hole back with soil and decorated the grave with two orange flowers, a bunch of white bougainvilla and an almost-heartshaped white pebble.
About half an hour later as I sat on the floor near the door with my laptop, I noticed something out of the side of my eye. I looked up and saw a hummingbird just like the one we had buried, flitting nearby amidst the leaves of the mango tree. Only now as I write this am I noting the coincidence ... of the mango leaves placed on the dead bird's body.