Many years ago while taking a morning hike on Mt Tamalpais, north of San Francisco, I felt the urge to sit down and to silently pray to the Lord. I found an outcrop among the bushes and left the trail. I sat down and put on my jacket. I settled down and began my Centering Prayer period. Some time later, while lost in silent prayer, an unusual thought crept into my mind - the sense that there was some movement outside. I returned ever-so-gently to my sacred word. However, the same thought continued to persist. Then fears of being approached by a stranger arose and unnerved me, so I decided it was prudent to just open my eyes. Since I was in an immobilizing physical repose, I had to dig deep to find the energy just to lift my eye lids.
When I opened my eyes, I was rewarded by the sight of a hummingbird, looking straight into my eyes and hovering about two inches from my nose. Time stood still during our encounter. Then the hummingbird darted off and I returned ever-so-gently to my sacred word. My spirits soared as I walked the trails thereafter. Over the years I have been able to appreciate that each encounter on the spiritual journey brings us just what we need.