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  • A cardinal!

    He is not stressed; he is not chipping to tell me of his impatient hungry search. His stare and stance are his greeting. I recognize this one. He is sitting on the branch outside my window as I write and now he has my full attention. His bright and fluffy red feathers spread out to this sparkling morning sunlight. It is the the first morning of winter. Short, yet spectacular, this moment of bright sunshine is our prize. I think it serves to remind that nature has the first and last word - almost always.

    His prize? Fat oily sunflower seeds. I rise from the table not taking my eyes from him and find my fingers untying the string of the birdseed bag with great care, as if the spirit of one of the children has come to ask for sustenance or reassurance or... It is so cold outside. Very cold. Gently I reach into the bag and fill my hands with seeds and let them sift through my fingers into his feeder, handfull after handfull. When the feeder is full, seeds spill over the sides onto the ground below. Safely clustered underneath the holly trees. Now he chirps his joy and flies swiftly to the branch over the feeder, as if to say "At last!"

    My eyes close slowly; I feel the sun shining warmly on my face, and a prayer slips from my lips.
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