Hummingbird of Joy

Photo by David G Hemmings
Photo by David G Hemmings

This is the first chant I ever wrote. My dear friend, Jane Mullan, asked me to write a chant for a meditation that was going to take place on July 6th, which happened to be the Dalai Lama's birthday. She wanted the theme to be Joy.

I had just moved into an old farmhouse, way out in the country in Rappahanock County, Virginia, and was a bit daunted by my single motherhood, living with two boys on 100 acres, wondering what in the world I was going to do with my life, feeling overwhelmed with my responsibilities. As I was hanging a flowering plant on the big old front porch, a hummingbird suddenly appeared, hovering right in front of my face. She stayed suspended in the air for a full minute, as though she was saying, Welcome! Welcome! You're going to be okay!

I went into the house and looked in my Medicine Wheel book of animal totems, curious about the meaning of the hummingbird. I read that their message was Joy! Ah! The perfect metaphor for my chant was given to me. Manose plays an amazing interpretation of a hummingbird on the bansuri, the Nepalese wooden flute, for this chant.

I remember my father listening to this for the first time on headphones in the ICU, quietly resting, and then suddenly saying, ”Ooh!” and I knew the guitars had just come in!

Let yourself take flight with this chant, soaring through endless sky.

Hummingbird of Joy

(For soaring into the Divine)

I am the hummingbird of Joy
Sipping Your nectar, oh Lord
I am the hummingbird of Joy
Sipping Your nectar, oh Lord
I fly, I fly through Your skies
I fly, I fly through Your skies


Lyrics and Music by Diane Bardwell

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