On Anchoring and Expanding

Linda here. Rain fell this week in the Old Pueblo.   Intermittently gentle and torrential, it made sweet sounds as it hit the earth, and life here now feels anew.


Two hummingbird eggs discovered – July 15th. 2016.


Hummingbirds construct their nests with spider webs both to anchor their nest securely to X or Y-shaped branches, as well as to allow the nest to expand without breaking, as the hatchlings grow.

(Check out March 6th & April 3rd, 2015 posts for more on spider silk and nest construction).


These baby hummingbirds, have just hatched. The top one hatched one day before the bottom one. The bottom one hatched just hours before I took this photo, July 19th, 2016. You can still see the remnants of the egg shell. Note all the space they have at this point in time.


July 30th – the nest accommodates their rapid growth.


The very same hatchlings (can you see both beaks?) and the very same nest; this photo taken August 1st, 2016.  Spider Silk elasticity allows for  such nests to expand without breaking. And the nest is still well anchored –  able to handle the weight and movement of these robust and thriving birds.

It is funny what can anchor. And expand without breaking.

A superficial glance at a spiderweb and it appears deeply delicate.


Without much substance.

Nearly etherial.

Yet, as the photos show, spider silk anchors the hummer nests, so that they can ride out the tougher aspects of life, like wind and storm. The qualities of the webbing woven into the walls of the nest protects them from themselves – and the robust antics  of their gorgeous growing selves.

Paradox seems at play here:  that the qualities of flexibility and elasticity offers such strength.


August 2nd, still expanding and going strong.

It is funny what can anchor us. And expand us.

A few months ago I subscribed to a meditation app called Headspace (https://www.headspace.com/)  . During my practicing this week, it occurred to me that the qualities of mind that meditation offers, function much like the webbing woven into a hummingbird nest. Again, at first glance, we can  easily miss the power of meditation to anchor and expand the mind. The practice of breathing. The practice lightening up. Of letting go.

Again, it is the very quality of lightness that has all the strength. By freeing the mind up a bit; by not taking every thought Oh-So-seriously;  or even ourselves so seriously, we are both anchored and expanded.  We can get down to the serious business of life a bit more playfully.  And perhaps, play our part in the web of life a bit more joyfully.



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