I spend my mornings sitting in meditation on my balcony overlooking the valley below. In the background are low, rolling hills of Cranberry Township north of Pittsburgh, PA. Small villages and larger towns are scattered within these hills which are dense with trees lush and thick from this summer’s sun and rain.
My focus of meditation though, remains in the foreground within the tree line that borders the property of my home. From this foliage, birds fly out and remain as if on my own personal stage of beauty and movement. Normally, I hear them first. I am beginning to learn the different calls of each species of bird that lives within my realm to view.
Mostly, I see robins, and doves who actually roost somewhere in the hiding places of the roof of my home.
The birds remind me of my love of freedom and flight. Here is my meditation: Stay in the moment and pay attention to my breathing. Be mindful of breathing.
Most exciting of all, at stage front of the forest before me, is when I see a cardinal. The brilliant red of the male cardinal never ceases to amaze me. He has a very distinct call that I am starting to decipher from all the other birdcalls at all parts of the stage.
There is a female cardinal who arrives on the scene after our brilliant red guy. The female cardinal is lack luster in dynamic and color compared to her male mate; which my mother always informed me was nature’s way for the male of most animals to protect and distract the enemy from harming the female and her young.
When I see a cardinal, I am reminded of my mom, every time. I have heard that seeing a cardinal is a sign that our dearly departed are giving us a sign they are here amongst us and they are well and watching over us.
The cardinal couple appear each morning to me show themselves for only a very short time. They fly mostly within, perch on sturdy branches of the pine trees within sight, but stay only a very short time, as if to say their quick morning salutations and head off to their purposes of the day.
As the fifth year anniversary of our mother’s death looms near, this coming Saturday July 29, I am filled with emotion rather than thought.
I am reminded of my mother’s death anniversary through my senses. This is the time of year where the sights, the sounds, the smells, tastes and touches are everything about those days before her death. The imprint losing her made on us all, of the heightened awareness that life is soon to be altered, remains forever.
This morning my male cardinal and his mate came to bid, “Good day” and swiftly fly to another place… possibly bringing a bit of sadness and much joy, as they have brought to me this day.
Let’s talk about reminders and memories.
Debra Whittam is the author of “I'm I Going to be Ok?" For any media inquiries or questions please contact: Contact@DebraWhittam.com