Friday, June 18, 2010

Red Cardinal

Do you ever have moments when you think of something that only one other person would find interesting and just smile? It could be a certain smell, or look, or situation - just something that isn't related to anything but instantly makes you think of somebody else. For instance, one day when I was walking at the arboretum with my daughter I stopped dead in my tracks SO EXCITED because I thought I saw an oriole.  I was convinced I saw the deepest red oriole EVER. I dragged my daughter off the path to show her the most beautiful bird in the whole world while my daughter was telling me it was a cardinal. I just wouldn't listen because I was sure I was seeing the most beautiful bird in all the world.  Well of course it was a cardinal. A very deep red cardinal but a cardinal just the same.  My daughter and I laughed at how sure I had been. We decided that he was obviously the stud muffins of all cardinals because he really was very brightly colored and definitely was something to look at.  Now whenever I see a cardinal - I think of my daughter and smile.  Yesterday she told me that she saw a cardinal and thought of me. Nice how that works isn't it? I have lots of those type memory connections.  I can never eat a maraschino cherry without thinking of my grandpa who used to give them to me when I was little. They were the best tasting things I ever ate. I can't watch any military type commercial without tearing up as I think of my daughter and my daughter's friends. Sometimes a song will come on the radio and I can remember exactly where I was when the song came on.  Once in a while it is just silly - like if I hear "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme" I remember riding in the way back of a station wagon as a child and for some reason, I remember that it was completely dark outside as the music played.  If I hear "Feed the Tree" I am instantly in Michigan enjoying the lazy days of summer with my kids laughing as we sing at the top of our lungs. If my mom and I ever hear anyone start talking about wine - we immediately start laughing our heads off. Kool-Aid makes me think of the summer I surprised my little sister at camp. I showed up yelling "Hey! Someone forgot to pack the Kool-Aid!" I know that she thinks of that day whenever she has a glass of Kool-Aid as well. Isn't it funny how just little things can last so long in your memory? It just goes to show that life REALLY is all about the little things.  Big moments are expected and unforgettable but they are woven into the tapestry of life just now and then.  Real living and real memories are all the little things that happen each and every day.  The cardinal that says hello on the tree branch in the morning. The long drive that ends up being so much fun because you talked and talked the whole way about everything and anything. The game you played while waiting at the airport that still makes you smile every time you think of it. Life is not one big thing - it is lots and lots of little things. Take time to appreciate all the little details. You never know when one little detail will end up being something that fills your heart with love.

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