Thursday, April 7, 2011


Today, for the first time in weeks, it finally feels like spring may be arriving.  It has been a harsh winter here, and you can see that the birdies are feeling it as they gorge themselves on the newly-filled feeder this morning.

For once, the sun is shining and the day promises to be lovely at least for a little while...and they are soaking up the warmth.  So are the doggies, who have heaped themselves in a sunspot this morning.

Our neighbors have a beautiful ornamental white flowering pear tree that has burst into blossom this week, just as the dark burgundy leaf buds have begun to peek out on my flowering plum shrubs by the sunroom windows.  The contrast as I look out the window is striking, especially when you include the bright green of the daylilly leaves that have shot up with the rain this week, stretching towards the sky with the promise of summer somewhere down the road.

At the moment, the momma cardinal has chased off all the smaller birds -- titmice, chickadees, sparrows and finches -- and is stuffing her beak with some choice sunflower chips and safflower seeds.

She looks ripe with impending eggs, which isn't exactly a surprise since I've seen her and her mate remaking their nest at the top of our dogwood tree for the last few days.  It's a perch that allows them a clear view of the bird feeder by the garage, some great cover if needed in our rhododendron hedge, and a high spot from which neighborhood cats are seldom able to reach -- and they have raised at least 6 years of cardinal chicks there since we have lived here.

I love this time of year.  The promise of renewal speaks so loudly.  This year, for some reason, I need to hear it more than I have for a long while:  what will the next day bring?  Where will I take it?  Where do I want to end up and why?

Life is long, and our way through it can wind some fairly twisted paths with some very unexpected stops along the way.  I figure as long as I keep asking myself the right questions and making course corrections with better choices as I go, I'm making decent progress...if not as quickly as I'd like most days.

(Photo by Christy Hardin Smith.)

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