I’ve always heard cardinals signal someone that has passed is present or attempting to make contact.

And as I watch a vibrant cardinal feed her baby right from her own mouth, I can’t help but think about Jake, my best friend’s little brother. His death was devastating, heartbreaking, and tragic. I think about him often, when certain songs come on or light hits a leaf and there’s a certain shade of green.

The baby bird in my yard doesn’t really look like a cardinal yet. It’s features have barely developed and they certainly aren’t red.

But yet it has this instinct that one day it will develop to look like its mother, streaking with dazzling, bright feathers.

The baby simply relaxes on my backyard furniture, not a care in the world, sure of itself and its future.

I wonder whats next for the little creature, when it will be on its own soaring across the sky, getting chased by my cat, and finding its own meals.

Its instincts will undoubtedly take over when the timing is right and it will fit in with all the other birds, chirping, dancing, and soaring.

Animals have that instinct to survive. We have it too, although it’s certainly stronger for some people than it is for others, but deep down we all that fight to survive as we try to find our place in this chaotic world.

The baby digests its meal and remains on the chair across from me, taking in all of its surroundings. I wonder if it will ever experience anxiety or heartbreak or even joy or if it simply only experiences primal intuition.

I suppose that ability to feel emotions is what separates a bird’s experience from a human’s experience. Sometimes it’s more appealing not to feel negative emotions, but really you can’t have the good ones without the bad ones, and aren’t those good things what make this entire human experience worthwhile?