Live Like A Hummingbird

When looking at the Ocean View’s schedule of events for the 2015 Summer, a large amount-- if not all--  of the programs take place outside, giving you an opportunity to get your hands dirty or have a rare
hands-on experience.  But there is an amazing program put together on Thursday nights called a “Green Screening”.  This program is a collection of films hand selected by Kim that provide different approaches, perspectives and opinions towards environmental awareness and the current situation we as humans have put ourselves in—whether positive or negative.

On the first official Thursday of Green Screening we prepared to watch the scheduled movie “Queen of the Sun”, a documentary about the role of bees and how their disappearance has affected the planet.  But, as we all know, technology does not always allow us our intended path.  Due to technical difficulties a last minute switch was made to the film "Chasing Ice".  This movie was built around a photographer who was fascinated and intrigued by the receding glaciers all over the world. Amazing filmography and scenery, let alone incredible scientific technology.  The second film was called “Dirt”, a piece on the importance of soil, how it is not only what is beneath our feet but is a vital part in what we do every day and overlooking it needs to come to an end.  At one point in the film a woman shares her perspective and includes an old story about a hummingbird, which I thought was one of the most important messages from the movie.

“One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest – the huge woodland was suddenly engulfed by a raging wild fire.  Frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest.  As they came to the edge of a stream they stopped to watch the fire and they were feeling very discouraged and powerless.  They were all watching the destruction of their homes.  Every one of them thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird.

This particular hummingbird decided it would do something.  It swooped into the stream and picked up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire.  Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again.  All the other animals watched in disbelief; some tried to discourage the hummingbird with comments like, “Don’t bother, it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, it’s only a drop, you can’t put out this fire.”

And as the animals stood around disparaging the little bird’s efforts, the bird noticed how hopeless and forlorn they looked.  Then one of the animals shouted out and challenged the hummingbird in a mocking voice, “What do you think you are doing?” And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, “I am doing what I can.”


This story alone shows how much one person can do, even if it is alone.  You never know who you might inspire and who might come along side you and help.  The environment needs our help and every one of us should be living like the hummingbird and do whatever it is we can.  For such a short story I thought it had a lot of meaning, bringing attention to the fact that just because no one else is helping doesn’t mean you have to sit back and watch too.

In this beautifully animated clip from Dirt! The Movie, Wangari Maathai tells an inspiring tale of doing the best you can under seemingly interminable odds. Join us at

I hope this story gives a little bit of motivation to your day.

                                                  When one tugs at a single thing in nature,
                                                            he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
                                                                                                                           -John Muir


Elsie D.