Bird in a Bush

A cardinal sits in the bare branches of a mock-orange bush outside our dining room window. It is unlikely that he is searching for peace – no, he is probably searching for seeds, or somewhere safe to sleep for the night. It is a different perspective, and a welcome one. The search for peace is a luxury when there are so many other vital components of survival that require seeking. Through the eyes of a cardinal, I am reminded of this. In the quick questioning tilt of his head before he flits away, I am faced with that challenge. All that seemed important suddenly vanishes in the crimson flash that is now gone.

The memory of his vivid plumage stays with me, like a smudge of red ink on my finger. It is a comfort in the barren expanse of Winter, a welcome stain of berry juice from a summer day culled from the past. I can hear the splashing of the pool, feel the beating of the sun – or is it the crashing of waves from the future, and the tickle of sand on my feet?

Outside, the night approaches. A January thaw has been predicted. The banks of snow will rise into the fog. Hold onto your hearts.

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