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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Cardinal’s Spring Song

Yesterday, a brilliant red Cardinal caught my eye.  Although plenty of these birds have been flitting about, this one stopped me because of where it perched itself.  This brilliant red Cardinal chose the branch of the blooming Forsythia – a red flash within a mass of yellow buds. This Cardinal wanted me to notice it, reminding me once again of that beautiful spring morning, April 3rd, 2014. It was that morning when one minute my usual routine was flowing without incident until suddenly, within hours, things changed. A part of me was broken; forced to stop, slow down.

On this last day of April I share an entry I wrote on April 3rd. It comes from my morning pages. These morning pages are similar to a daily journal but it’s not a list of goals or what I plan to accomplish during the day. This year, each entry in my morning pages is to focus on one word. I have been writing these morning entries for 3 years. I think this routine has expanded my writing from technical tidbits to observations. It also helped me branch out and experience taking my own images and making it a part of the creative process. But the intention of each blog post has remained steady since I started them in June 2009 – to inspire someone somewhere that experiencing nature, a garden, getting immersed in the landscape is a wonderful thing. This early morning routine, these morning pages help me prepare to write a blog post each day. It’s a bit like stretching before you take a long run.  And though I’ve never shared an entry from my morning pages, this below entry reminds me of how important it is to listen to the Cardinal’s spring song when you hear it sing.

 “April 3, 2014 – Today the word to focus on is song. As I hear the birds singing, a very welcoming sign of spring, I want to focus more on the beauty of the song than just words. Lately it has been hard for me to look at my writing as work anymore. I am asking for guidance as to what talents I should put forth. So I shall listen and focus on the song – what can be heard in its rhythm, its cadence.

What is there about music that can lift us or in some cases, bring us down? I have been in a stagnant state since returning from Florence – the city of art. I am looking for my art. And if art is not what my work shall be than help me find it. Let me be something, rather than nothing in the presence of this beautiful spring morning. Let my writing be fulfilling and not just words randomly shooting in the air looking for landing. Let my art be not lost but meaningful – until then, I shall focus on the song.”

Sometimes this is the reason why we break - whether it’s a routine out of sync or something more traumatic that changes things a bit. We are forced to stop and listen rather than create. And because my focus has been on healing and finding some sense of a routine, I still ask myself will I write each day? Not because I don’t love to write, not because there is a lack of things to say. But when the Cardinal perches itself in the blooming Forsythia, maybe we are just meant to listen to its spring song. What one word will you focus on today?

 ©Camellia - Image by Ann Bilowz 

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)