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Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace prize in 2004 for her many efforts to improve the conditions in her country, Kenya. In 1977, she began the Green Belt Movement, which helped women plant trees to provide wood for cooking, fodder for livestock, material for fencing, protect watersheds and stabilize the soil improving agriculture. Wangari helped and encouraged the plantings of millions of trees. She is one of many exceptional women featured in the movie Dirt, one I highly recommend.

In the short movie above she tells the story of a Hummingbird in the midst of a raging fire, one that is inspiring and rich with the flavor of Africa that goes something like this:

A fire broke out in the forest, raging and burning.  The animals rushed to the river’s edge and watched as their forest burned, not feeling they could do anything about this devastation. A Hummingbird could not stand this and decided to do something. It went to the water’s edge and picked up a drop of water and rushed to the fire and dropped it on the fire to help put it out. She went back and forth and back and forth, much to the surprise of the others. The elephants and others questioned her: how could this possibly help? How could she make a difference? The Hummingbird replied: I am doing the best I can”.

We must not forget the passion it takes to make changes and determination. A hummingbird flew into my day and reminded me that taking action within one’s capabilities makes a difference.
Each of us has our dreams. We are facing the COVID -19 pandemic that makes us feel powerless to contain or control it. Perhaps our tiny bird friend, the Hummingbird can renew our sense of purpose here. She’ll be back here in the NE soon as spring moves through her season of life.

What does Hummingbird mean to you? How does this story inspire you?

I hope you will share your stories about Hummingbird. Enjoy. Judith




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