The little red bird
God made the forests, the tiny stars, and the wild winds--and I think that he made them partly as a balance for that kind of civilization that would choke the spirit of joy out of our hearts. He made the great open places for the people who want to be alone with him and talk to him, away from the crowds that kill all reverence. And I think that he is glad at times to have us forget our cares and responsibilities that we may be nearer him--as Jesus was when he crept away into the wilderness to pray.
MARGARET ELIZABETH SANGSTER, "The Gypsy Spirit"
The other day the boys and I were driving home from running errands. It was a regular day, we did regular things, and we took our regular path. We didn't expect anything out of the ordinary, but maybe that's when we should expect out of the ordinary.
As we were nearing our neighborhood, I noticed a bright red cardinal on the side of the road. He was sitting in the grassy area, next to the road. He was so bright, and in a world of muted browns and grays he stood out brightly. I pointed him out to my oldest, and smiled. However, youngest didn't see him.
I stopped the car, and wondered what the chances would be. I looked behind and ahead and no other car was coming in either direction. I put the car in reverse and came to a stop next to the little bird. Youngest was able to look out the window and see the bird perfectly. Not until he had done so did the little bird jump away and fly into the trees where he wasn't quite as obvious.
It was a thrill of the day to see the little bird. To be reminded that there are always flashes of joy that you don't expect if you look for it. And the fact that I stopped the car, threw it into reverse, and helped youngest see the bird was something new too. In the past I have told both boys too often that they simply missed the opportunity. Maybe we don't really miss the opportunity when we think we have.