Song of Joy

A cardinal sings

I remember being introduced to the Red Cardinal as a child while visiting my grandmother on her farm in the eastern United States. She loved birds and made sure to have food for them spread on the ground and attached to the ancient pear trees that stood outside of the parlor windows. It was a perfect viewing spot especially during the winter months and the flash of scarlet against the white background was stunning. “Isn’t he a handsome fellow!” my grandmother would exclaim at the sight of a male cardinal visiting her offerings of seed and suet. “Isn’t she a pretty thing, “ my grandmother would say in a softer voice at the sight of a female cardinal joining the feathered party.

Regardless of the season, when a cardinal’s familiar song and trill could be heard, my grandmother would pause in whatever she was doing and listen intently, as if the song were for her. Sometimes she would whistle in return, a conversation only the two of them could understand.

Both my grandmother and mother would often comment while listening to a cardinal’s serenade, on how happy their song was and how wondrous that a scarlet fluff of feathers could be so filled with a contagious joy that one could not help but feel lifted in spirit from just hearing its voice.

The Red Cardinal was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1929 and became well established here. To this day when I hear the familiar piping, trills and song, I take a moment from my activities and enjoy the melody. It is like hearing a familiar voice, of a dear friend, who brings with them fond memories of childhood days and can lift the soul with song.

35 thoughts on “Song of Joy

  1. Myriam (Myr's Bytes) says:

    Like Sharon said – exquisite! I love the way you personified winter – her fabulous forest hair, her silky blue scarf, her dainty glove and her marvelous eyeliner. She looks like a diva… who, I suppose, sounds like wind and snow and ice. The little cardinal looks quite comfy in her forest hair, a little winter jewel. And such a charming story :-).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cathe says:

    Your painting is beautiful! I too love Cardinals and always feel so lucky when I see them in my yard or on a walk. I like the thought that they are connected to our past loved ones. I agree grandmothers and grandfathers are extremely precious people with so much wisdom (I think parents are too).

    Liked by 1 person

    • artandmoondreams says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and for your kind words. The connection to past loves just adds another layer to our connection with nature and the beauty of shared wisdom with our families and friends.


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