A Cardinal, Talisman and Spring.

Yesterday, while sipping tea and staring out my window, I was transfixed, mesmerized by a cardinal. Perched at a feeder, I’ve come to view this red-feathered guy as a pet of ours, of sorts.

Distant Memories.

For the past couple of years, he and his partner have made a home in our backyard pine tree.  Hubby and I are bird lovers and have made our backyard–with feeders and fresh-water baths–as inviting for them as possible.

This month Easter, Passover, and Ramadan are celebrated.  The season will be vastly different for those of us who embrace our cultural traditions.

Seeing as the Easter Bunny is an essential worker in our family, he will deliver eggs as expected but extended family will be absent. Richard and I will celebrate alone, which is, in fact, our job.

Asparagus, Mushroom, Gruyere Bread Pudding

Here’s a slideshow with a dozen recipes I’ve enjoyed making during the Easter season. This year I’ll grill a couple of lamb chops and serve it will this recipe for yummy Asparagus Bread Pudding. For once, there will be leftovers.

Back to the birds. Is it just me, or does their singing sound more melodic than in past Springs? Perhaps this year the world forced me to slow and appreciate them more.

A cardinal is symbolic of a loved one who has died. According to lore, their appearance means they visit you when you most need them. My father passed away in early April several years ago, and for once I feel his presence–not his absence.

I’ve also taken to afternoon tea out of my grandmother’s teacup, thinking of the vessel as a talisman, something to soothe my spirit and bring me hope.

My grandmother did, in fact, survive the Great Depression and World War 11, teacup in hand.

Polish-Stuffed Easter Eggs

Living in south-east Michigan, one of the hardest-hit areas in the country, almost everyone has a story of a friend or friends who died or is sick from this virus, as well as family members and neighbors who have filed for unemployment.

Today I read that more than seven-hundred health care workers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have tested positive for COVID-19. These are people who went to work to save the lives of those they didn’t know.

For me, the advent of Spring means birth and renewal. This year it brings me hope–hope that a more peaceful, wiser and compassionate world will emerge when the virus has met its antiviral match. In the meantime, a more pressing hope is that those of you hit hardest will find moments of peace, the best ways your souls can find it.

These days I’ve taken to roaming streets and city parks, of course keeping a healthy distance from those I pass along the way. The pianist Ludovico Einaudi is a delightful playlist companion, and I especially enjoy the compositions from Seven Days Walking. I’m preferring instrumentals these days. Because, when it comes right down to it, there are no words.

Here’s one entitled “Birdsong”.




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6 Responses to A Cardinal, Talisman and Spring.

  1. Donna says:

    Dearest Peggy Lampman. What a wonderful Post. I comment as I listen to Seven Days Walking.
    Since I knew your Father, I especially loved your reference to the Cardinal and his spirit.
    Thank you for reminding me to haul out my Grandmother’s teacup today in her memory, surviving the great depression as well.
    Thank you for your reflection in this difficult time.
    I like to think you posted Birdsong for me.

    • Peggy Lampman says:

      Reading your comment, Donna, made my eyes sting. You knew my father? How kind of you to say so and remember his funny, gentle spirit with me. Perhaps I’ll post that teacup on FB–others may enjoy having tea with a beloved!!! Your comment means the world, Donna! Thank you. Peggy

  2. Marion Kling says:

    I splurged when I got divorced on a Yankee Droll bird feeder, it was a small pleasure that was tremendously soul soothing & much needed in my life. Close your eyes and listen to the birds the most beautiful music they make . I felt the same way with song you posted, a good one to close your eyes to 🙂
    Our menu is also lamb chops, asparagus, mushroom risotto & the Southern tradition deviled eggs, and mini coconut cakes all that for two also!! I’ve had fun thinking of our menu and I’ll delight in setting the table with every Southern girls ( or moms, grandmoms) linens,China, silver and crystal
    Andrea Bocelli is coming on Sunday
    Have a blessed day, week & year
    Stay safe

    • Peggy says:

      Isn’t the chatter of birds amazingly soul-satisfying? I’m sure it’s been a source of comfort through the years. Actually, we bought our birdbath after my dad died. Your menu sounds divine, Marion! ANY excuse for risotto, and setting a table with family heirlooms is one of my greatest pleasures, too! Lovely, as always, to hear what you’re up to and eating!

  3. Michele Waite says:

    Peggy, I love your letter! I smiled, cried, and smiled. The cardinal is an instrumental bird in a Facebook friend of mine, Tamela Wagner. Made me smile. We have robins galore here. I’ll stand at my kitchen window and just watch them. I lost my father 12/31/13. I may not have representation of him as you do, but he lets me know he’s around and well in other ways. I too have a cup I enjoy my coffee in each day as it is a mosaic of elephants (my favorite animal) and it has a saying on it, “walk in peace”. What a great way to start the day! Your words were a great start of the day for me, thank you. Michele

    • Peggy Lampman says:

      Hi Michele! It’s so good to hear from you here, and I’m delighted my post made you smile, cry and finally smile! It did the same for me writing it. I, too, love elephants, such majestic creatures. Walk in peace, Michele!!

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