“You will waken at dawn with the first note of the birds”
The transition from Winter to Spring in Florida isn’t remarkable or even particularly detectable. It just
evolves. The exception occurs when I wake up one morning and hear a distinctive bold cheep, one which I
haven’t heard for many months. The red cardinal and his devoted wife have arrived in my yard. The same
pair, at least I think they’re the same pair, show up every Spring as if they’d never left.
I recall two years ago when they had nested outside my bedroom window on a bush dangerously low to the
ground. At first I heard a rustling, something unusual happening in the bush. The male cardinal was jumping
from branch to branch, flapping hysterically, annoying a snake which had managed its way about 3 feet up
through the bush and headed toward the nest. During that encounter the snake lost the battle and was soon
slithering its way across the lawn with the brave bird hoping along the ground and pecking at the snake all
the way. Within a day however, the black snake had returned, won the battle, and devoured the tiny chirping
babies. No more cute little peeps coming from the nest. Very disturbing.
Update: the cardinals are back this year and playing around the yard again. Staying a distance ahead of
her, he calls out proudly many times over, she catches up, he swiftly flies to another tree, another branch,
calls out, and she follows again. What fun, what freedom. Always cheerful and perky, always singing.
Recently a young cardinal, who was trying it’s wings, had set it’s sights on flying through our glass front door,
unsuccessfully of course. Like the TV ad, there’s something to be said about not being quite so diligent in
keeping the glass sparkling. The young bird was soon guided by it’s parents to safety, hopefully, and they
are now in the back yard playing tree tag again, singing with delight.
Song of Songs 2:12 says “the time of the singing of birds has come” - referring to Spring. During times of
drought there are always dew drops on the leaves in the early morning. God’s way of feeding the precious
little birds He’s created, and they all sing to His glory always, no matter what. On my parents’ grave stone
there is a cardinal incised on the upper corner. They both loved the birds; always fed them and watched
them, did their part. They knew first hand how God cared for them. If God does it for the least of these, how
much more He watches over you and me! As each morning sky becomes light, all of creation from the birds
to the humans should lift their songs of praise unto the Lord.