Safely hidden away from the world of hawks and eagles, tucked into a little thicket, a Cardinal is nesting. She seems to be alone here, sitting on her eggs. But she’s not.
Cardinals mate for life. And he’s here, all right. He watches over her every minute. He’s higher up in the tall trees, singing to her much of the day. His clear songs ring out to keep her company, as well as to distract any predators from finding his beloved. He is bright and showy and loud, she is plain and muted and quieter, and they are utterly devoted to each other. Did you know that male Cardinals will feed their mates, beak to beak, while the eggs are being incubated by the female? After the little ones hatch, Dad takes a turn on the nest. They work together.
They give me great hope.
We are not alone. Though often hidden, there are self-sacrificing, hard working, devoted ones, doing what is best for their families day after day, year after year. They don’t make the news. But these tiny guys are busy living their entire lives, about 15 years, in the same place, with the same mate.
They are tenacious.
And they are everywhere…