Yesterday, I spent the day shopping with Mom and Joy. We had a great time…shopping and laughing, and being silly! While I was gone, I got a call from Adam telling me about an experience he and Alex had just had. Seems as if Adam had let Scooter out, and forgot to close the door after he came back in. A little while later, Alex heard an unusual noise and they went to investigate. There were 2 intruders in the den…of the winged kind. Yes, 2 birds had flown in and decided this was a nice place to be. The boys had a suspicion that I may not take too kindly to these new house guests and did their best to persuade them to vacate the premises. The birds put up a good fight, it seems…but they were finally able to clear them back out into their own habitat. Good thing for the boys that I did not find the birds here when I returned. However, I did enjoy hearing them tell me about it. Adam said that Alex had not moved that fast in a long time!
This morning, I got up early, before anyone else was awake. I like to sit in my favorite chair in the sunroom, and look outside and enjoy the quietness as the world wakes up. I had begun to look at a magazine when I heard something hit the window…quite hard. Looking up, I saw a flash of red. I got up and went to the window, and saw a brilliant red cardinal lying on the deck…obviously in distress. His little legs were kicking and I could see the rising and falling of his body as he breathed. What to do? What to do? I was physically sick to my stomach thinking of his pain. I went and woke up Alex and asked him to come and get him and throw him back up into the air, so maybe he would take off and fly again. Alex got up and found some gloves and went to the bird. But, his body was not moving anymore. His little chest was not rising and falling, and his legs were still. Alex very tenderly picked him up, and examined him. He said that his neck was obviously broken. We wrapped him in a bag and put him in the garbage, where he would not be disturbed by other creatures. And, that was that.
What a disturbing incident, though. We looked at him up close before we disposed of him and saw his beautiful colorations, and his little beak. What caused him to fly into the sunroom window? We have lived in this house for 33 years, and I have never known of this to happen before. Why today? In reading up on cardinals, I learned that when a male cardinal sees its reflection in a mirror, he will fight it for hours. Did the light being on in my sunroom cause the windows to reflect like glass? They are fiercely territorial. Was he defending his female mate from another imagined cardinal or intruder? The female, who is brown, is the singer in the pair. She will sing to signal the male (brilliant red) when to bring food to the nest. Was he on an early morning breakfast run? The mated pair will share song phrases with each other. Is there a female cardinal sitting in my big, beautiful tree, wondering why her handsome mate doesn’t answer her call?
It seems as if there are many lessons to learn from the birds. They are certainly appearing in my life quite a lot lately. OK, so, I got the message in Maui, from the roosting birds. And, I think the lesson from the flying intruders was that we can all use a little help to get out of a jam. Be ready to help those in trouble whenever the opportunity presents itself. But, this is going to be a morbid lesson, and something I do not wish to think of right now. Nevertheless, it is before me at this moment in time. What then, do I learn from this poor, unfortunate cardinal? Be careful where you go? Don’t go full speed into unknown territory? Be sure there is a real danger before you go into full-fight mode? Or, that life is short…it can end very unexpectedly…enjoy every day and every person in your life? Or, will my passing cause anyone to stop and think and take stock of their life as this tiny bird caused me to so think?
As I felt the sadness this bird’s passing brought to my heart, it reminded me again that my Heavenly Father was Himself aware of what had just taken place on Earth, in Alabama, in my town, on my street, behind my house, on my deck, as I sat in quiet contemplation. The Creator of the Universe, the Master Designer, God Himself saw this little creature fall. I know this because His word tells me: “What is the price of two sparrows?