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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

I love seeing Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) throughout the year, but especially during the dark days of winter when my senses are starved for bright colors. Many folks suffer from some degree of seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression related to changes in seasons that is characterized by fatigue, hopelessness, and social withdrawal. The current pandemic has undoubtedly exacerbated those symptoms. As most of you know, I find refuge in nature, and often a simple walk in the wild helps to lift me out of my gloom.

I spotted this handsome male cardinal last week at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. His brilliant red plumage immediately raised my spirits and brought a smile to my face. The world had not changed, but my attitude had improved.

It has become a bit of a cliché, but I really like the old adage, “You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” As Phillip Kennicott noted in his commentary on the presidential inauguration in the Washington Post, “the funny thing about clichés is that, while we are by definition tired of them, it’s when we ourselves are exhausted — tired beyond measure, even broken into bits — that their power often takes us by surprise.”

Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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July was a crazy month no matter how you look at it. Who knows what the new month will hold for us all? When I checked the garden of my friend and neighbor Cindy Dyer a few days ago, I was thrilled to see that some of her gladiolas are now in bloom, symbolic of the new life and growth that is still possible in our own lives, even in these troubled times.

gladiolas

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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On a cold, windy day this weekend, I visited one of the local gardens. Most of the color was gone and it was a desolate, lifeless place.

Then suddenly I heard a sound, the beautiful song of a bird. It was a Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) defiantly singing a song of hope and good cheer. It seems so appropriate for this Christmas season, a message of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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