The birds are singing all around us where I live in North Carolina, announcing the coming of Spring. Ever since I was a little boy and would watch the birds and squirrels in the trees behind my home with my grandmother, Myrtie Barefoot, I have always found the sound of birds and the scurry of squirrels a thing which calls me to joy and to wonder.
About a year or two ago, a little after my late wife’s first big stroke, I was struck by the sight and sound of cardinals singing on a treetop above where I sat meditating. I wrote the following to celebrate that. I hope it blesses you this lovely spring day.
Crimson bird, sitting erect,
head held high like a general surveying his troops,
aloof yet dignified.
I see you sitting atop the greening tree
gazing on the first rays of spring morning
reflected off dogwood blossoms
and I remember
that One stands watching me
when like this muddy soil
I look forgotten
yet carry in myself
the budding seeds that awaken new life
when I like the caterpillar
am bound in silky darkness
awaiting my life to take new form
and even while in darkening chill
my once bright leaves
turn rusty, orange, dirt brown
ready to fall into the sleep of winter.
Your scarlet crest is like a standard
the Master and Commander of life’s turmoil
has placed amidst these blowing winds
to remind me who orders this many mooned campaign.