Mellowing Gracefully

For most of my life I’ve been a Type-A personality, constantly driven to do “better,” even if I wasn’t sure what a “better” really was.

Even after I retired most of my Type-A traits remained. Lately, though I’ve decided that if I was going to do something about my marginally high blood pressure and cholesterol I would have to make some changes in my life.

I recently bought a machine that claims to be able to lower your blood pressure by teaching you how to breathe meditatively. The Mayo Clinic even seemed to suggest that it could have a positive effect. At the very least, it would give me one more form of meditation and, unlike drugs, couldn’t have any negative side effects. So I spent the $300 and bought the machine.

It actually makes a perfect complement to my Tai Chi classes because the breathing tempo fits beautifully with Tai Chi exercises. I have no idea if it will really lower my blood pressure, and they say it takes at least four weeks to have any effect, but I have discovered that the combination of meditating and practicing Tai Chi has made me much mellower, if not downright lazy.

Since the hummingbirds have returned to the yard, I’ve found myself sitting out on the front porch an hour to an hour and half watching the flowers grow and hummingbird after hummingbird visit the garden.

At first I thought it was the same hummingbird merely returning to “his garden,” particularly since I’d find him sitting out there in the morning when I went out to get the paper before breakfast and see him sitting out there at twilight.
After looking more closely at the shots I’ve taken over a period of days, though, I’m pretty sure that I’m actually watching several different hummingbirds, even though I’ve never seen more than one at any one time.
Still, this looks like an Anna’s Hummingbird,

Anna's Hummingbird

while this one certainly looks like a make Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Perhaps if I continue my breathing exercises, I’ll finally give in and buy a tripod and sit patiently waiting for birds to reveal themselves to me hours on end rather than trying to walk six or seven miles a day hoping to capture some interesting shots.