The hummingbird is a birdie native to the Abya Yala, the name given by the indigenous Kuna to America, and is present in images, myths, legends and oral narratives of many peoples, from the Rio Grande to Ushuaia.
Comrade Subcomandante Marcos showed us a story about a hummingbird. It’s a story that we rewrite or, better said, plagiarize, like almost everything.
The forest catches fire. The animals run desperate to escape the flames, but a hummingbird flies in the opposite direction. A deer stops and asks: “What are you doing? You go towards the flames.”
And the hummingbird replies: “Yes, there is a lake”.
Then, the unbelieving deer says: “You can not put out the fire: your beak is too small and you cannot get enough water”.
To which the hummingbird declares: “It’s true. Only one drop I can carry in my beak, but I’m doing my thing.”
When we fly with a drop in our beaks we sometimes water and sometimes we crash. Planning in the air is not our greatest quality. We lost a couple of feathers, a couple of loves and the other time some of us scraped a leg. We do not know how we managed to get up again, open our wings once more, receiving the sun on the face and the moon in the belly. However, our forest catches fire. It burns because they have set it on fire in an attempt to end all possibility of life, of believing, of breathing, of playing, of pleasure.
“We were not born to survive,” Audre Lorde, the black poet, told us in his ear.
Ours is life, as simple as that, not survival: living above life. At what point do we begin to fight for our lives when we give life? And, of course, brave women appear who, drop by drop, carry water in their beaks. Not easy, it is painful and nothing is guaranteed, but it’s time to get up like a herd, a coalition of circus figures and relearn how to fight …