We’ve been feeding the hummingbirds this summer. As close as I can tell, my yard is the territory of a really fast little guy with a ruby throat who loves our gladiolus blooms. We hung a feeder with rose colored water, but my “main” bird seems to prefer real nectar. As does the tiny gray female who hangs out somewhere nearby.
This is the first year we’ve really had steady hummingbird visitors, and I’ve gotten more interested in reading about them and their migration to Mexico. (A side note: The articles I’ve read tell me not all hummingbirds leave for Mexico in winter. In milder climates they might never stray more than twenty miles from their birth nests.)
But to get on, the hummers in the Southeastern area of the US actually fly across the Gulf of Mexico non-stop. To make this journey, they gorge themselves to increase their body weight by fifty to one-hundred percent, stoking up to make the long flight. I understand that, but what amazes me is the force in their nature that urges them to take off and fly to Mexico, a place they’ve never seen before. The only explanation that makes sense to me is the theory of genetic memory.
It also leads me to think about the possibility of genetic memory in other species, especially in human beings. Might it be a clue as to why it pains me a to toss away perfectly good containers? Sitting on my kitchen counter is an empty can, a shiny can used for canning peaches. I’m know I’m going to put it in the recycle bin…eventually…but in the meantime it seems too valuable to simply toss away. I’ll try to think of some good use I can make of it.
And I wonder, could my urge to keep and use containers be caused by genetic memory, a memory dating back to the ancients and the creation of containers for the portability of water, food…and maybe fire? I keep wondering if these early containers released human beings from the seashore and riverbanks to explore areas out of reach until then. The value of such containers must have been immense.
I also wonder if another hint of genetic memory can be found in children riding in shopping carts who visually snare someone as though they know them from a earlier time. I’m not sure, but I find the possibility to be very intriguing.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to look for evidence of human genetic memory. If anyone reading this would like to share more clues as to human genetic memory, I’d love to hear about it. (Ready to fly across the Gulf?)