Listen to the hummingbird and always order your coconut with jelly.

Venus hovered over the  crescent moon last week,


  as we hovered over the question of whether our Trinidad experience is waxing or waning.

Our two year contract.  To extend or not to extend?

One year has given us time to settle in.

Some days it feels as though Trinidad is not only growing on us, but has actually seeped into our very veins with new patterns and designs, that suit us just fine.


Other days it feels as though we want to gather up our foot gear


and high tail it out of here,


our ponytails flying in the wind as we run for the next available flight.

ponytail pattern

I suppose it comes down to the delicacy of all the decisions we make in a lifetime.

purple delicate

Someone recently sent me an anonymous quote that said,

“Grace means all of your decisions serve a purpose instead of serving shame.”


So maybe they are really not that delicate, those decisions that we make.  Maybe they can withstand a little bit of rainfall.

No matter which we way we go, no matter how comfortable it is inside,

eventually, a door opens,


and, voila!

There just could be the perfect avocado on the other side,  waiting to be savored.


Or a fabulously green bejeweled visitor  with a contemplative gaze.


If we don’t open the door to look, it could fly away without notice, as though it never existed,

flying monkbird

leaving us wondering if we did make the right choice after all.

Sometimes it is a matter of just looking up to know that we really always do.


One minute we are glued to a screen, looking for answers,


the next moment, we look up to see the answer is clear, and we are radiating our light for all the world to see.



In our efforts to talk as a family about our wishes and desires for the upcoming year,

we braved the storms of rain and indecision,

to the top of the steep hill  that leads to the Mount St. Benedict Monastery just in time to be served high tea at the Pax tea house.


Everyone had their say,


and the answer to the question, “Should we stay or should we go?”


 was about as tangible and concrete as the steam rising up from the coconut green tea we sipped.


Whether we decide our Trinidadian stay is waxing or it is waning, we will try to remember the  resiliency and viability of all the decisions that we make.

We will keep looking up, and raise our teacups


to the spirit of the hummingbird,


who has auspiciously visited three times in the last three days;  in the middle of a yoga class, at the monastery, and tonight at the Hi Lo parking lot.

We will try to embody the hummingbird’s symbolism as we remain open to the possibilities ahead.

 Lightness of being, enjoyment of life.


Being more present.

e drawin



 Bringing playfulness and joy into life.  

nylon pool smiles

Lifting up negativity.  


Swiftness, ability to respond quickly.


Resiliency, being able to travel great distances tirelessly.

nic walks in palmtree path

And if nothing else is clear,


we know, at least, to always order our coconuts with jelly.


11 thoughts on “Listen to the hummingbird and always order your coconut with jelly.

  1. Beautiful words about the choices we all have to make in life and I really liked the quote you used: “Grace means all of your decisions serve a purpose instead of serving shame.” I love that and will keep that in mind. Be well!!

  2. It’s running through my mind as I read this BEAUTIFUL essay …. HOW does Ellen have all those photos that are so appropriate to her writing? Does she write first and then seek the photos? Does she snap snap snap photos all the time and just happen to have so many that the right ones are at her disposal? You’re incredibly gifted, Ellen! What beautiful books these posts can be turned into. You make me soooooooooo PROUD!!!

    • Thank you, Lora! The truth is, I really never go anywhere without my camera. I take pictures of whatever strikes a chord for me. when I sit down to write about the week, it all eventually flows together; images, thoughts, and words…It is all the same mindset, I suppose!

  3. what do i always say here, what else can i say: it’s beautiful. i am grateful you share your family’s journey in such a profound and beautiful way. thank you, ellen, and love to all. if the decision were mine,………………………………………i’d………………………………………;)

  4. Our Vermont hummingbirds are leaving us now, heading south: towards you??? Then they will come back, as they always do, next May. They thrive in both habitats, and need both. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?? (And what is coconut jelly???)

  5. What a help this post was to us–like a gift, really! Izabel returns to Vermont on Sunday while we remain in Kazakhstan. It has been such a difficult decision, and “Grace means all of your decisions serve a purpose instead of serving shame” is just exactly right. We send warm, happy thoughts in your direction as you make this big decision!

  6. Ellen, Thanks for your inspiring words and fotos. It makes me feel so connected with you all as you work toward your big decision. And now I am heading to Big Sky bakery to see if they have coconut (macaroons) with jelly. Lots of love, M/G/M

  7. Ellen, Junie, and family, As you ponder what to do next year, just remember that I think all of us who read your posts travel vicariously with you. You are not alone.if you extend your stay, so do we. If you return, so do we. Whatever your decision, all of you bring your gifts and use them to love and help others. If I may be bold, I say that God will guide you and use you where He wants you to be most effective for Him, using the gifts He’s given you. Blessings to all, Sue


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