Waiting for Winter
A brilliant red cardinal perched on a sturdy branch, its vibrant plumage a stark contrast against the backdrop of fading autumn leaves. The cardinal sat there day after day, waiting for the first snowfall of winter. It had always held a special place in its heart for the season of white enchantment. The cardinal’s song filled the crisp air, and it seemed as if the very woods were holding their breath in anticipation. As the days grew shorter and the air colder, the cardinal’s anticipation grew stronger. It felt the changing energy of the forest, a subtle transformation in the whispering winds, and the hushed conversations of the trees. With each passing day, the forest appeared to be preparing itself for the grand winter spectacle. The cardinal watched the world around it, the trees shedding their last leaves, the animals scurrying to gather their winter stores, and the sky assuming a gentle, muted palette. Finally, on a frost-kissed morning, the cardinal’s patience was rewarded. The first snowflake drifted from the heavens, landing gently on the cardinal’s outstretched wing. It watched as the world around it transformed into a sparkling wonderland as if touched by a painter’s delicate brush. The cardinal took flight, its brilliant red feathers contrasting with the pristine white landscape, and as it soared through the newly fallen snow, it knew that winter had finally arrived.
~ Robert David Atkinson