Last night, my mom saved a hummingbird. Trapped in the shop out back, she found it laying on the concrete floor half dead, heat-exhausted. This has been the hottest summer ever in Oklahoma since they started keeping track of such things. She told me she was glad to have 100 degrees instead of the weeks upon weeks where it’s been 110. Who knew 10 degrees would make such a difference but in such extremes you can feel even the slightest increase.

Last year, my mom saved two that flew in from the ventilating skylight.

When she saw the one last night, she picked him up in a towel, tried to feed him, but they don’t eat at night and coaxed him back to life. He tried flying again, got 3 feet off the ground and fell, exhausted as if the weight of his little body were still too much. So, mom picked him up again in the towel and he rested, glancing up at her for a long time as if to say ‘thank you’ and when his little heart beat quickened like a roaring piston, he buzzed off into the darkness. Mom hoped he’d make it through the night without food.

This morning in the shower, I heard the doorbell ring faintly through the streaming water. And for a moment, I thought my mom had arrived, that she had tricked me into believing she was home last night. I listened for her voice over steam. For a moment it was wonderful to feel her close to me.

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