A few years ago, before we had Toren, Peter bought me a ring with a hummingbird designed by a First Nations artist. He said he wasn't specifically looking for a hummingbird, he just liked the ring. After Toren died, he expressed a desire to get a matching ring, not necessarily with a hummingbird, but by the same artist. We went back to the Bill Reid gallery and after spending a long time looking at all the different rings, one of the staff handed us a list with all the animals represented and what their meanings were in First Nations culture. Under hummingbird was written, "When hummingbird appears in times of sorrow, healing will soon follow." We knew in that moment which ring to get.
When I think of hummingbirds in relation to Toren, I think of Peter's family cottage in Ontario, near Kingston. They have owned the cottage for 40 years. The hummingbirds there are very skittish. You hear them before you see them, and if you turn your head or move in any way to try to see them, they fly off. Sometimes, that's all you get. It's never enough.