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I awaken to a sign of spring.

Looking into the day through the bathroom window, my eyes get drawn to a fiery red area highlighted against an otherwise drab landscape.  Focusing on the color, which sits on a barren branch nearby, I identify the outline of a bird, its crimson chest blazing out into the early light.

At first I think, “ah a robin red breast.” But as my morning eyes focus, I see that the crimson color covers more of the bird’s body than just its chest.  And as I continue staring at what feels like a mirage, I recognize the bird — a cardinal. 

After making the bed, dressing, and completing a few kitchen chores, I go outside and begin walking toward Harmony Center. A bird’s clear “tweet, tweet … tweet,tweet … tweet,tweet” floats atop the morning’s stillness.  I reply, “tweet, tweet … tweet, tweet … tweet, tweet.”

Arriving in the building, I move toward a large expanse of glass.  Facing east, I see brilliant sunlight streaming through trees and realize how much the angle of the sun has changed.  No longer low on the horizon, the sun’s position is now higher and further east – moving toward spring.

Finishing my morning ritual that includes giving thanks for the day, some chi gong, a little yoga, and additional stretching, I feel hunger stirring in my belly.  Ready for breakfast, I head toward the barn, and then wander into the chicken coup.  Reaching into a nest, my hand encounters a warm oval gift — a freshly laid egg.  Thanks to longer daylight, the hens are laying again. 

As I continue down the driveway to retrieve the newspaper, my ears pick up sounds of birds chirping their welcome to the day.  Looking towards the stream bed, my eyes recognize skunk cabbage shoots beginning to poke above ground.

Arriving at the mailbox by the side of the road, I watch cars whizzing by, their drivers seemingly oblivious to the signs of spring all around them.

Appreciating my good fortune, I count this morning’s blessings – cardinal, sunlight, birdsong, skunk cabbage, and a freshly laid egg.  Ah, signs of Spring!