Our yard is small. But the view this time of year is beyond belief. As if it were a giant bouquet, pink fluff envelops the weeping cherry tree just outside my kitchen window. A short distance beyond the cherry tree the fence is a riot of golden forsythia. Springtime parades in the Ohio River Valley with flowers, shrubs and trees in dazzling colors and scents, some sweet, some stinky. But all a welcome relief from the dreariness of winter.
By the meteorological calendar it is not yet the beginning of spring. But the term spring hardly does justice to what is happening. That season also is denoted for the religious holidays, Holy Week or Passover to name two. I like to think of it as the week daffodils are in bloom and a few tulips brave the evening dips in temperature to begin their opening dance. The pear, tulip and cherry trees are in serious bloom. The redbuds hinting at the purple splendor soon to come.
As I sit at my kitchen table eating my regular oatmeal and fruit breakfast unexpectedly I am joined by a Cardinal. Not the kind wearing an ornate red hat and officiating at church ceremonies. Or even the kind wearing a team jersey and carrying sports paraphernalia. No, this is the bird from which all the others take their inspiration.
The Cardinal perches atop the recently-trimmed junipers nestled beneath my bay windows. As I eat I watch him snack leisurely at the shrub insects, stirred, no doubt, by the trimming. He is bright red and smallish. Certainly smaller than the robins who splash in the birdbath, but larger than the finches who delicately sip a drink. The Cardinal is less than five feet from where I sit, separated from me by a window. He occasionally hops forward on the bush, watching me as I eat. I wonder what thoughts go through his head on this glorious morning.