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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