Folk Belief

If you see a hummingbird, you will have good luck.

My grandmother, and then my mom would always say this when we were lucky enough to see these rare hummingbirds by our windows in the kitchen or outside in the garden behind our house. I am not very sure about why hummingbirds are lucky, maybe because they seem to be pretty rare, but they are definitely really beautiful, small and colorful, and also seemed to bring my grandma a lot of joy. I mostly think about this saying when I happen to see a hummingbird somewhere randomly and it reminds me of my relationship with these two very important women in my life and just how much I loved listening to their stories and advice when I was smaller.

Lorena thought of her grandma and mom’s words about the hummingbirds good luck blessings as more of a saying and simple story than actual truth. Having also grown up in a Mexican family with very strong females, I would also hear my grandma often say the same thing about hummingbirds. I tend to agree with Lorena’s belief that the hummingbird’s unique colorful beauty and rare presence in our daily lives seems to emphasize the hummingbird as a special bird or creature with mythical qualities.  It is definitely more common to see countless grey pigeons in the urban concrete jungle of Los Angeles, including Echo Park where Lorena’s family resides, than these charmingly bright birds that seem to captivate so many.  This may be why both of our grandmothers remind us of the good fortune to come that a “colibri” promises. (Colibri is hummingbird in Spanish).

Annotation: The Papyrus line of greeting cards, similar to Hallmark, uses a picture of a single hummingbird in flight as its primary marketing and branding symbol. This hummingbird appears on each of its greeting cards and similar products. Moreover, each of its products includes the following brief history of the legend of the hummingbird and its symbolic significance which best speaks to the significance of this storied bird;

“Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy, and celebration. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”