Every day for the past several weeks, a cardinal flies to the weeping cherry tree just outside of my dining room window where I work. He flits happily among the gently swinging branches, his vibrant red feathers a glorious contrast to the lime green leaves that quiver in his wake.
Each day, I watch him while he visits, mesmerized, unable to do much else until he leaves for another destination. I’d never seen him before this spring, though he may have been here before. Cardinals are non-migratory birds that mate for life and put down roots, so he must have settled nearby. Until now, I’d been too busy to notice.
Now, I wait for him, and each day I’m rewarded. I watch him jump and flit and play among the swaying leaves in the tree outside my window. I listen to his song and wonder who he is serenading, peering out through the glass in search of his lucky mate.
Many believe cardinals deliver messages from loved ones who have passed, to let us know they are with us and watching over us. I take comfort in this thought. But to me, he is also a sign of life, of beauty, and joy. Especially now. I’m transfixed.
Life, beauty, and joy. It’s all around us. We just have to pay attention.