Posts Tagged ‘cardinal’

Chickadee2Some might also call this a sense of awe. Today, as I’m sure you’re aware, one of the most commonly used word to describe what someone really likes is awesome. I use it myself. But nowadays everything is awesome. When everything is awesome, then really, nothing is awesome.

But semantics aside, how wonderful is it to find that sense of awe, of true wonder, much like a child. It’s a gift. I stumbled across it just the other morning. I was sitting by the front windows journaling and I happened to look up to see a flutter of chickadees and a male cardinal hopping about the porch railing and in and out of an adjacent yew. The chickadees were puffed up to keep warm and quite busy with whatever they were doing.

Without moving, I just watched them, yes, in awe, of their singular beauty. I became aware that I was smiling and just sending that reverential feeling to them. And then they stopped, cardinal included, and looked directly at me. I don’t know quite what a bird can perceive through glass, but I have no doubt that it was my energy that spoke to them. And for brief moments we all seemed as one, just being, time suspended. Now that … was truly awesome. ¬†Then time and motion resumed, them hopping, me watching.

I believe we have far too few moments like this in our lives. We are too busy, too fractured, too distracted, but the moments are there, waiting. Ask any child. And all it takes is being still, stopping and looking. Really looking.

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This morning I watched a female cardinal on my front porch railing. With the warmer weather having arrived early, she is already quite sleek. As she hopped along the rail I couldn’t help but admire the beauty in the subtlety of her coloration … the muted olives and golds edged with red and the bright persimmon of her beak.

I went along my morning and was still thinking … now of the beautiful coloration of the peahen. She may pale alongside the brilliant shades of turquoise and green of her male counterpart, the peacock, much as the female cardinal does when compared to the bright red male, but her beauty isn’t in the flashiness of her color. It’s in the quiet richness, with just a necklace of iridescent aquamarine.

There’s a certain pleasure in subtle beauty. In our media-driven culture, the biggest, brightest and flashiest is always being foisted upon us and honestly? I sometimes find it draining. Don’t you? Admittedly, I can be distracted by shiny objects … nothing wrong with that from time to time, but as a steady diet, the loud, the bold and the dazzling wears thin.

I will always take delight in the bright plumage of a male Cardinal or Peacock. But I also appreciate the ladies. ¬†They have a disdain for flash. And yet are undeniably beautiful. Maybe they’re a bit more like most of us.


Photos: Cardinal courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, Penelope Peahen courtesy of Popcorn Park


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They say every cloud has a silver lining, that even in our darkest moments there is always a bright spot. Having recently lost an animal so very dear to my heart, I wasn’t seeing too many bright spots just yet. Some unanticipated glimmers here and there, but that was about it.

Who would have thought that my bright spot would truly BE a bright spot? I happened to glance out my side door earlier this morning, and there he was … a veritable bright spot of red among the drab winter bushes. I grabbed my camera and, figuring the male Cardinal would fly away if I opened the door, took him through my window, but with a screen, I knew I was kidding myself. Ever so slowly, I opened the inner door and then the storm door, and eased out on the porch. There he stayed while I photographed him. Again and again.

I felt as if he knew I needed a bright spot in my day and had decided to indulge me until I got the shot I wanted. I believe animals communicate with us and are far more in tune than we give them credit for, and today, he had a small, joyful message to bring. Above you see him, not nearly as vibrant as he looked in reality, but brilliant nonetheless. A small blessing, a reminder, of how many bright spots we have in our lives. Even if we don’t always see them.

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