Lately, I’ve been visited on a daily basis by a small flock of redbirds, also known as cardinals. I have seen pictures of small flocks, but never personally…..until the last couple of weeks. Sure, I have seen two or three together at a time, but not ten or twelve. Every time I see them, I am startled by their beauty and then the memories surface.

Both of my parents and my brother loved nature. Birds were always a favorite and continue to be mine. Redbirds…..cardinals…..were the ones to “oooo” and “ahhhh” about. Their vibrant color and poise are substantial enough to make a person stop and watch them flitter about and seemingly converse with one another. These feathered friends are year round residents so they add their pop of color to each season. I am just in awe of them.

Birds, being creatures of flight, usually won’t hang around when there is movement, so I stop and admire for what brief period I am allowed. Each time I see a cardinal, I remember the family from whence I came. It is often a fleeting acknowledgement of life that is no more and a mixture of peace and sadness. The beauty and intricate detail of the little red birds mimic a life of complexity and depth and I am reminded of those unique qualities that made each of my loved ones an individual in their own right.

It has often been said when a cardinal visits, it is a loved one that has since passed on. I am a Christian and use the Bible as my guide. I am not God, therefore I don’t have or understand the great knowledge of His creations nor do I question it. I do believe God speaks to us often and individually in mysterious ways. Therefore, I do believe He can use whatever He desires to have interaction with us, including a flock of cardinals.

As I stop to watch the small flock of birds, I am filled with an array of emotions. I was once a child carefree from the burdens that awaited me to now an adult who is the only one left from the family of my origin. I am allowed those quiet moments of joy and happiness within as I watch silently the communion of red feathers. I believe it is joy sent from God, Himself, as a reminder of what resides in the deep recesses of my heart.

Why am I only now experiencing this beautiful sight and on a regular basis? There is no argument that my attention is garnered. These lovely birds always gather in and beneath an apple tree my father planted not long after he and my mother built their new house. It is on the first property they ever owned after they were married and where they lived when my brother was born. Now I have the pleasure of looking out my window at the fruits of their labor and often thinking how many times their eyes fell upon the same scenery. Was there a small flock of cardinals that visited them, too?

There is no denying the depth of what I feel when I see those beautiful birds. It is such a pull at my heartstrings to follow through on some promises I made because someone that loved me unconditionally believed in me. It reminds me of the guidance to do great things that might only be small stuff to someone else, but to me, it’s anything but. There is a purpose to all things placed within our hearts if we will just follow.

As I enjoy those special moments stopping to watch the cardinals and letting a few tears flow, I am learning to let my heart be assured that I am not alone and those that I hold within will live on through me. The echoes of their words resonate through my being and serve as a prompting to unmask and follow my dreams; dreams I have held too close for too long. Like the beautiful cardinals that spread their wings and fly so carefree, such should be that we would follow suit while we still have the ability to do so.

So, are the visits from the cardinals more than birds in and under an apple tree? I will always believe it is a gift from God to remind me that He understands and the unconditional love lives on.

I’ll see you on the flip side…..

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