Monday, October 27, 2008


Yesterday, I spent the day shopping with Mom and Joy. We had a great and laughing, and being silly! While I was gone, I got a call from Adam telling me about an experience he and Alex had just had. Seems as if Adam had let Scooter out, and forgot to close the door after he came back in. A little while later, Alex heard an unusual noise and they went to investigate. There were 2 intruders in the den...of the winged kind. Yes, 2 birds had flown in and decided this was a nice place to be. The boys had a suspicion that I may not take too kindly to these new house guests and did their best to persuade them to vacate the premises. The birds put up a good fight, it seems...but they were finally able to clear them back out into their own habitat. Good thing for the boys that I did not find the birds here when I returned. However, I did enjoy hearing them tell me about it. Adam said that Alex had not moved that fast in a long time!

This morning, I got up early, before anyone else was awake. I like to sit in my favorite chair in the sunroom, and look outside and enjoy the quietness as the world wakes up. I had begun to look at a magazine when I heard something hit the window...quite hard. Looking up, I saw a flash of red. I got up and went to the window, and saw a brilliant red cardinal lying on the deck...obviously in distress. His little legs were kicking and I could see the rising and falling of his body as he breathed. What to do? What to do? I was physically sick to my stomach thinking of his pain. I went and woke up Alex and asked him to come and get him and throw him back up into the air, so maybe he would take off and fly again. Alex got up and found some gloves and went to the bird. But, his body was not moving anymore. His little chest was not rising and falling, and his legs were still. Alex very tenderly picked him up, and examined him. He said that his neck was obviously broken. We wrapped him in a bag and put him in the garbage, where he would not be disturbed by other creatures. And, that was that.

What a disturbing incident, though. We looked at him up close before we disposed of him and saw his beautiful colorations, and his little beak. What caused him to fly into the sunroom window? We have lived in this house for 33 years, and I have never known of this to happen before. Why today? In reading up on cardinals, I learned that when a male cardinal sees its reflection in a mirror, he will fight it for hours. Did the light being on in my sunroom cause the windows to reflect like glass? They are fiercely territorial. Was he defending his female mate from another imagined cardinal or intruder? The female, who is brown, is the singer in the pair. She will sing to signal the male (brilliant red) when to bring food to the nest. Was he on an early morning breakfast run? The mated pair will share song phrases with each other. Is there a female cardinal sitting in my big, beautiful tree, wondering why her handsome mate doesn't answer her call?

It seems as if there are many lessons to learn from the birds. They are certainly appearing in my life quite a lot lately. OK, so, I got the message in Maui, from the roosting birds. And, I think the lesson from the flying intruders was that we can all use a little help to get out of a jam. Be ready to help those in trouble whenever the opportunity presents itself. But, this is going to be a morbid lesson, and something I do not wish to think of right now. Nevertheless, it is before me at this moment in time. What then, do I learn from this poor, unfortunate cardinal? Be careful where you go? Don't go full speed into unknown territory? Be sure there is a real danger before you go into full-fight mode? Or, that life is can end very unexpectedly...enjoy every day and every person in your life? Or, will my passing cause anyone to stop and think and take stock of their life as this tiny bird caused me to so think?

As I felt the sadness this bird's passing brought to my heart, it reminded me again that my Heavenly Father was Himself aware of what had just taken place on Earth, in Alabama, in my town, on my street, behind my house, on my deck, as I sat in quiet contemplation. The Creator of the Universe, the Master Designer, God Himself saw this little creature fall. I know this because His word tells me: "What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it." Matthew 10:29. I, in my own busy life, do not have time to give thought to the birds that live in my tree. I do not take the time to think or them, much less to care for them. But, my Heavenly Father, who has control of everything in the Universe, does. What else that matters greatly to My Father, am I giving little thought to? What other things am I not 'taking care of' that I should be? Is this the lesson of the cardinal? I have much to think on. And I shall.

Life lessons...taught best by the Master Teacher.


Sharon said...

Good Morning,
That is so sad this morning and I am sorry that happened. The poor little guy! I have the cardinals all around my house now for about 3 weeks they are so beautiful aren't they. We have a Eagle too that is hanging around, he's so gorgeous the way he is soaring around, I think it is a female because we can hear what sounds like babies, we see her go into this bushy area. I love birds.
Thanks for sharing, Hope your week is filled with many blessings

windycorner said...

Hi Tonja,
You learned this morning that a cardinal will fight to the death to protect his territory, just as the soldiers, sailors, and marines of our country are. Let's pray that we get the commander-in-chief that these brave men and women deserve.

Tonja said...

AMEN! to that!

Musicaljean said...

I'm sorry to say I have to work hard to feel sympathy for Cardinals. Years ago when we lived in our big farmhouse we had a Cardinal that would fly from a tree into an upstairs window for HOURS at a time, day after day after day. It was absolutely beyond annoying.

The next year, I kid you not, we had one again (same one?). This time it would fly into the same window for a while, then fly over top of the house to another tree and fly into a window (Anthony's bedroom) for a while, then go back to the tree in front of the house again and fly into that window for a while. This would go on every day for hours at a time. We thought we would go crazy, especially Anthony. He was ready to kill it.

About the time I called the Game Commision to ask what to do about it, it left. I guess it heard me talking on the phone!

Musicaljean said...

When I say "into" the window, I mean "against" with a loud thud every time.

Tonja said...

Jean, I bet he saw his reflection in the windows. The article I read said that the male cardinal will fight any intruder that comes into his territory to the death. I bet he thought you were keeping a couple of fellows inside just ready to swoop down on he and his Mrs.
Go, on, forgive'll feel better. :)

Earthmommy said...

A profound lesson, to be sure. Life moves at such a fast pace these days, perhaps this message is indeed, to slow down and watch where we're flying. Thanks for sharing it, its left me with a lot to contemplate.

Anonymous said...

Last winter. I had weekend guess. We were sitting in the den. It, too, is nothing but glass. I was reading, and our guest was viewing T.V. All of a sudden I heard this terrible thump...Oh my, I explained..must be a limb that fell. No, said the guess...I fear it was a bird. Sure enough a cardinal had flown into our window. Like you, my heart was crushed. Later that evening my husband declared...while on-line he saw where a airline had crashed! Our friend said....Well today, God, recieved to flights from earth! It made me so sad to see that bird fly into our glass windows. Later that evening the entire backyard was full of cardinals. A friend told me that perhaps it was, the Lead bird? I know how you felt!

Jillian, Inc said...

The exact thing happened at the large picture window in my office the other day (except not a cardinal). I felt so bad about the bird. About a year ago my mom and brother found a dead hummingbird and they picked up that tiny little thing and they said it was just so beautiful. They flit and move so fast it's so rare to get to see one so close. You're so right...God's hand in everything.