every single day I take the dogs "the kids" up to the woods for our morning walk. while I stand and wait for them to poke around searching for nasty food scraps while ignoring my authoritative commands, I watch the birds. I have come to recognize their songs and I know who is who. there is one bird in particular, the male cardinal, that I see each day and I take comfort in this. man, he's loud! when the leaves are gone and there is snow you can't miss him. if I am out there at 6:30 or 10 I always see, or at least hear, the cardinal. except yesterday! he was nowhere to be found and his absence bothered me. did some local punk shoot him with a BB? did he move upstate to get far away from the clear-cutting and new construction? I felt like it was a bad sign.
a few hours later I got an odd email out of the blue. a neighbor had to tell me about what he saw from his window earlier that day. he saw a brilliant red male cardinal sitting on my (green) car just hanging out singing away. the only reason he told me this is because he thought the color contrast was beautiful and I would appreciate it. he knows nothing of my relationship with this little red bird.