Cardinal at the window

I first heard the story of the cardinals years ago at the memorial gathering for a mentor and his wife, who had died just a few months apart. The family distributed seed packets with cards telling how a cardinal is a visitor from heaven, a departed loved one letting you know everything is all right.

On the morning Red was scheduled to take her long ride from a Milwaukee hospital to a hospice near Green Bay, a cardinal hopped up to the patio door and peered inside — almost like someone I once knew wanting to make sure I was OK. A few days later there was a cardinal next to the door again. (Obviously the above photo was taken after he hopped a little farther away.)

Perhaps they’re old friends, or my mom or dad or brother, or my Willow The Best Dog There Was, but they are comforting. They help open the spigot and let out the grief, which gives me a few hours of precious productivity.

Three deer emerge from the woods and step carefully into the open field to our north. Dejah notices them and woofs rather frantically. “It’s OK, Dejah, they’re friends,” I say, but she pants indignantly — or is she panting with the desire to run out and play with them? I’m afraid the deer would not understand.

Like the cardinals at the patio door, these unexpected flashes of heart stopping beauty are a reminder that the world is still full of reasons to go on — and hope. 

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

One thought on “Cardinal at the window

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: