Cardinal Inspiration

The color red symbolizes steadfast faith.  Some Christians believe it represents Christ’s blood.  But the cardinal inspiration I’m talking about isn’t from the Catholic church — it’s  from those eye-catching red birds that perk up winter’s indeterminate grey, like a spark of hope in darkness.

When faced with challenges like enduring the winter cold, the cardinal bird chooses to sing a lovely song.  It stays strong and positive, exhibiting persistence and grace.

I am increasingly convinced that Mother Nature guides us by offering her own Divine space to us as a spiritual well.  We simply need to open our eyes to see, accept, and contemplate her generosity. 

Such is the case with the red cardinal.

  • Some believe the cardinal encourages us to “find our life song,” to create new ways to love our life and show our gratitude for it.” 
  • Others say the cardinal warns us to be mindful of our thoughts and what we are creating.  Are we continually replaying past hurts, thereby deepening the groove of misery (and setting the stage for more to come), or are we choosing to be at peace in the present moment?  It may be helpful to visualize that red stop sign when these negative thoughts occur.
  • Many cultures believe cardinals are messengers from someone who has passed. 

Five years ago on the morning of New Year’s Eve, my dear friend Mary died from breast cancer.  A lover of nature and all animals, Mary encircled her home in the woods with numerous bird feeders.  On the day of her memorial a red cardinal held vigil at the window to the room where Mary passed in her home.  We believed it was telling us that Mary’s spirit lives on. 

Others have had similar experiencesHow ’bout you?  Do you have your own story of a symbolic message a cardinal carried into your life?

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The cardinal is said to represent kindness and goodwill.

May it inspire us to carry its message into the world.


 

 

 

 

Savoring Sunday’s Symphony

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Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony No. 8

 

Guilt

slips in

and around

the cool morning breeze

for taking time

to slip into

my favorite summer chair

and be

in Sunday morning.

A confident breeze eases the heat

on my sun-warmed skin,

stroking my cheek

with the only classical music

absent of customary stuffiness —

Mozart, Bach, Gershwin, Schubert’s “Unfinished” symphony no. 8

that speak to me.

My eyes lock

on the blooming garden

framing a photo

in my mind.

Plants grown tall

like children —

spires of yellow and false indigo baptisia

3′ bearded iris and phlox

electric blue-violet geraniums

and newborn pink roses

sway in a wave of color

Garden July 2015 037 chair662015 Landscape 065 baptisia gardenbearded iris99 Dana Street 027662015 Landscape 179 blue geraniumGarden chair

blending the whoosh of cars

with the wind,

an airplane speck roaring across the sky,

piano keys amidst tinkling and wooden chimes…

and birds chattering

in countess dialects

to the crackle of ice

in my juice,

interrupted

by the boom-boom base

of a teenager’s car

thankfully passing by…

It’s a privilege to take time

and savor Sunday morning.

Listen

and “be.”

Just be.

Set aside

the long heard demands

of productivity

rushing me

at this address.