Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thoughts on Beauty

This morning was one of those unusual clear, bright winter mornings.  I wasn't in a hurry to do anything and I settled down into one of the wicker chairs in our art room next to a big picture window.  Every branch of every tree sparked white with a fresh coat of ice from a late evening rain yesterday.  It was all so lovely, so I slid open the lace curtains to better see the bird feeder just outside the window.  My reward was a beautiful female cardinal.

Now I don't know exactly where cardinals live and don't live, so I have to assume that some of you may not have cardinals in your next of the woods.  Here in the northeast, the male cardinals are the stars.  Paintings of their bright red plumage decorate so many Christmas cards, boxes, and other home decorations.  They certainly stand out in our snowy winters.  However, the female cardinal gets jostled completely out of the picture to the point that many people may not know her if they saw her.  (Female cardinal photos by Bob Mullen.)
Well, our little girl kept coming back to the feeder over and over, each time alternating with her flashy mate.  She was so stunningly and quietly beautiful.  I was simply in awe over all of the colors in her feathers.  Golden creams, rich browns, light cocoa, pale peaches.  All of these beautiful colors melting seamlessly into the others.  Absolutely splendid. 
And underneath all of these gorgeous colors hid a surprise.  Her bottom tail and wing feathers, normally hidden beneath her muted earth colors, are bright orange-red.  I was totally mesmerized!  I watched her come back again and again until she had had her fill and I sat there absolutely still and facinated. 

Like so many female birds, she is considered more bland than her male partner.  She is overlooked and often forgotten.  But, oh my, talk about breathtaking.  She's elegant, graceful, and beautifully attired.  Instead of flash, bling, killer high heels, and a "look-at-me" dress, she's wearing pearls, pumps, and the ever-classic shift.  But don't be too hasty in judging her, because under that subdued elegance is a secret.  She's quick, bright, and listens to her inner call.
I wonder how often the same may be said for some of us.  Many in the world may not immediately notice us, but the reward is great for those who do take the time to stop, notice, and learn about us.

Heaps of Hugs,
Cheryl

2 comments:

  1. Such a lovely post! Taking time to watch, listen and admire... So many of us don't take this time, glued in everyday life, making money and running after vain things!

    You're right Cheryl! I love your vision of life and I share it!

    Françoise (another "time taker")

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  2. Very nice post! We love to watch the birds...so beautiful and entertaining! ♥

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