This morning I was scarcely out of the house before a blur of red caught my eye. Turning, I saw a cardinal perched on the limb overhanging my neighbor’s sidewalk. I walked cautiously to the driveway. Blue jays are common on my street; cardinals are rare.
As I tried to get a better view of him, the bird tipped his head from side to side, trying perhaps to get a better view of me. It did not take him long to reach a decision.
He jumped from twig to branch before taking flight and disappearing from view. As I continued down the street on my walk, I thought about the bird. About its movements, quick and bright. About the color of its wings and breast, that of a gerber daisy rather than a rose. About how that flash of carmine had snapped me into the present, and about how the day, already underway to judge by the heat instead of the hour, had begun well.
It is not often that we begin the day truly awake.