I spent almost a month in Tucson recently at the Gem Show. Behind the apartment complex where I stayed was a small expanse of desert. I was staying there with my partner Scoop and a good friend. My friend went out in the mornings to say prayers in the desert and meditate in nature. Sometimes I went with her, but more often I stayed in and connected with the small personal mesa (altar) I had brought with me.

My friend created a perfect circle in the soil with tobacco and this was her place of connection. On the last day of the show, after Scoop and I packed up, we took a walk out to this circle to offer prayers of gratitude for our time in Tucson. The Gem Show had been much more profitable than we had anticipated, and also a lot of fun. For this we were very grateful.

I grabbed some offerings for the land, and we walked out to the circle in this sweet desert area. We said our prayers of thanks to the six directions and were standing there admiring this small space of unspoiled land, when we saw a ruby-throated hummingbird land in a short scrubby tree maybe fifteen feet away. In the Peruvian tradition I study, the hummingbird is a messenger that goes to and from the Upper World or heavens, carrying messages from Great Spirit.

It is rare for a hummingbird to just sit, but there he was green and glorious. Scoop told me to move closer and we both began to move slowly and carefully, just so we could get a look at this miraculous creature. As we inched our way closer, the hummingbird turned to us and spread his wings, the black feathers at his ruby throat parted, and a red light seemed to glow from his throat. He fluttered there for moment, flashing this glowing red throat. Then he sat back down on the branch and began to sing! Scoop has been an avid bird-watcher for many years and he told me later that he has never actually heard the hummingbird's song before. Other noises, yes, but not this song.

As time stood still and opened up to eternity, I could only stand there, tears streaming down my face, and thank the Universe for this amazing gift. It was the most astonishing symbol of hope. This is the gift of nature when we simply slow down and perceive. It is here, now, for us to experience, and it is the true meaning of grace.

Author's Bio: 

Jean Tindle is a teacher, healer and ceremonialist who has studied shamanic healing for over 10 years with teachers and healers in South America and the U.S. She is the owner of Spirit Dancer Crystals, a website selling crystals for healing, with a blog about her shamanic studies and how to combine these healing modalities. Spirit Dancer Crystals was formed as an outgrowth of Jean’s healing and teaching practices, and her love for the beauty which comes from Mother Earth. Her website is www.spiritdancercrystals.com