What a privilege! I’m sitting on my back step on one of our first real spring days—warm, sunny, bursting with promise: a light breeze riffles the last of fall’s dry dead leaves, and the tops of the tall trees wave against the blue sky. They’re not green yet, but clusters of round balls signal buds about to burst. Birds chirp, cheep and sing and a small magnolia tree with lacy white blossoms decorates the red-brick wall of my neighbor’s house.
I sit very quietly, soaking in the promise, when a red flash at the corner of my eye catches my attention. Not three feet away, in the bare grey branches of a burning bush, is a Cardinal bird. He’s bright red, with a black beak and a jaunty crest. He hops to another low branch, right on my level, and sings his heart out. It’s his story of spring and its promises, a gorgeous sound, tuneful, melodic, Nature’s music. Mrs. Card appears and hops around above him. I don’t move, and hardly breathe, as they unknowingly entertain me for about 5 minutes before flying off to another nearby bush.