Cardinals have held a strong connection for me since my grandma passed away several years ago. The passing of my grandpa last summer strengthened that connection and I have been very blessed to have them as frequent visitors ever since.
For three days this young cardinal came and sat on the grill outside my kitchen window while I made breakfast. The first time he hopped back and forth along the lid of the grill as I watched. I said, "Happy Father's Day, Grandpa. We grilled as always. We missed you." He cocked his head at me and flew back up into the trees.
The second day he again hopped back and forth across the top of the grill and chirped a couple of times. I paused in making breakfast and just watched him sending love to my grandpa's spirit. He persisted for a while as I watched but then the baby woke and when I returned he was gone.
The third day this beautiful cardinal was more persistent. He chirped loudly as he hopped back and forth. He made grand fluttering gestures at the front of the grill that made me actually wonder if somehow there was a nest or something in it. Then he started flapping his wings and acting like he was charging the window. He could not be ignored. I went outside to check what could be wrong and he fluttered up to a nearby branch watching me.
There was nothing wrong with the grill. The gas was off and there was no nest or food trapped inside. I started to walk back inside but he called out from the tree, starring me right in the eye. I slowly walked over to the bench nearest him on our deck. He, of course, flew to a branch slightly farther away.
I sat there wondering what was the message. This was a clear and un-ignorable invitation but to what? I sat back and took a few breaths. I listened to the breeze rustling the leaves and all the bird songs going on around me. Then I picked out his call again and just listened to the trill of it.
Then all at once I heard some of the wisdom Grandpa had told me while he was still alive. Like a whisper his words returned to my mind and I felt like I was being held in a warm embrace. I realized everything around me had gone silent and tears splashed on my cheeks. The cardinal started his song, just a steady tune, no longer urgent.
I'm so grateful for these invitations. I'm grateful for this persistent call to come outside to listen. I'm grateful for the comfort it brought me and the opportunity to reconnect. I'm grateful for this cardinal's beauty and stubbornness, not unlike my grandpa. I'm grateful for the songs of the birds in my yard and most thankful for the family of cardinals that bring my heart joy. I'm grateful for these connections that remind me I am never alone and always surrounded by love.
What invitations are waiting for you today? Will you choose to accept them?
May today remind us that we do have a few minutes to give. May we take the opportunities that speak to our hearts. Have a beautiful day!