This summer I’ve seen more hummingbirds than I remember ever seeing in one season. I also learned to recognize some of their sounds – the strong buzzing of their wings and the high-pitched whir of a male’s song.
This week, I read in a Barbara Kingsolver essay about how a hummingbird builds her nest. She describes this stunningly detailed process including laying down spider webbing, weaving in shreds of bark, and meticulously licking her nest into perfect shape.
Reading this reminded me of the power of details.
I had a dance teacher in Israel who said, “God is in the details.”
She was urging us to study the details in our dancing.
To create artistry, dancers train to observe the breath between the take off and landing in a leap, the involuntary gestures an elder makes while speaking, the focus of our eyes, the precise force in a push.
We learn to notice what so many miss.
When I’m in the dance classroom, I frequently focus on the details of the fingertips. Do they curl in? Do they extend? Do they face forward or back? Are they inviting or reprimanding?
How do your fingertips connect you to what’s beyond your body? Do they reach? Or pull?
These are the edges of your body. How do they facilitate connection? Or protect your privacy?
This week, notice how your fingertips move. As you reach and stretch, pay attention – can those fingertips open a little more? As you find yourself angry or withdrawn, how do those fingertips behave?
I also invite you, over the next few weeks, especially as the seasons begin to change, to notice new details in nature. I guarantee there are surprises for you in every inch of your daily travel.
I’d love to hear about your discoveries. Send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org.
It brings me joy to write to you. Thank you for being with me on this journey into dance, the wild world, and our bodies, in service to life’s wholeness.
If you think of anyone who would love to read this, please send it along.