The Arrival of the Red Cardinal

We have lived in our house for 9 years. Those years we have seen the growth and transition of our house as it has evolved into our home. Trees have grown tall while other have been removed. The English garden that once grew in the yard behind the house grew wild and unruly under our watch and was eventually replaced by grass that grows lush and thick with no signs of ivy or bloom. Our family grew to adopt new furry friends that dig and explore their limited domain with excited curiosity. Few things have remained still and constant.

The light grows dim as the winter months drag on and I sit beneath the window searching for signs that spring will be upon us. Part of me aches for spring, my toes in the cool muddy grass as I poke about the yard and imagine the changes that will come. The sun warms my emotions and no longer do I feel the need to sleep as late. But there is one thing that always remains constant, the red Cardinal.

From naked limb to blossom heavy cherry branches, the red Cardinal announces the return of spring to my garden. I wait and watch through the rain as March comes for the herald of spring to take flight and return. Today his crimson appearance marked the day I have waited for and he seemed proud to sit at eye level to me in my upstairs office and peer in at me until I had noticed his return as if saying ” Well! Here and I am!”

No doubt the guardian of the land, my dog Wynter will not be as delighted with his return as I am. He is her nemesis, dodging down at her an squawking into her ears that he is Pan and she can not take flight to capture him for she is grounded to the Earth. She will gather her allies from the house, the cats with claws that climb high into the trees and stalk the scarlet bandit. But they will not capture the messenger of spring for he is immortal. A many spiritual people will tell you that a cardinal  represents death or afterlife. But to me he is rebirth and awakening of the spirit.

As a totem symbol, the cardinal symbolizes vitality. A balance of intuition, perseverance and strength, the cardinal is said to offer safe passage into the realm of personal power to realize one’s goals and dreams. Perhaps this is true, the announcement that the time of darkness is over and we must awaken and create.

Each year he returns to our yard and sits waiting to be noticed and cherished.  Constant and a stark brilliant reminder that some things remain solid.

Welcome back my friend, I have waited through hurricane and snow, holidays and dull days, sickness and health for your return.

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