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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Birds

Every year during the Christmas season I often catch myself gazing with childlike awe and wonder at my fully donned Christmas tree. 

I have been collecting ornaments for years now and not a year goes by that I don't get at least 2 or 3 new ones to mark the passing years. 

Among them are are the "Baby's First Christmases" the memorial ones, the vacation ones, angels, elves, beloved pets, both living and passed on.  There are even a couple from my childhood I was able to talk my mother out of.

There are a lot of precious memories in my Christmas ornaments and the sheer joy I get as I take each one out of its box and hang it on the tree once again is one of my absolute all-time favorite simple pleasures.

I thought I would share a few of them here each week and I am beginning with the redbirds.  Redbirds have held a special place in my heart ever since I was blessed with an abundance of them in my front yard during my struggles with grief several years ago...

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? ~Rose F. Kennedy

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. ~Chinese Proverb  
The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet ~John Burroughs

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale 

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune--without the words
and never stops at all...~Emily Dickinson
What is joy?It is a bird that we all want to catch .It is the same bird that we all love to see flying ~Sri Chinmoy 

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. ~Chinese Proverb

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings ~William Blake 

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness. ~Bob Hope

In the midst of my grief they came,
So many that I lost count
perched on the porch rail and in the trees
and flying all around 

I stared at them in awe
through the tears that freely flowed
Their vibrance captured my attention
it was almost as if they glowed

At first I thought I was dreaming
for now my life was surreal
but then one flew over to me
and I knew I could still feel...

Could feel another emotion
other than soul wrenching pain
Was this maybe a sign
that the waves were on the wane?

The waves of grief, I mean...
Still foreign to me then
that sweep you up and thrash you
again, and again, and again

So I stared at them in disbelief
and remembered how to smile
They fluttered their little wings and sang
and I watched them for awhile

They kept coming to me that year
whenever I needed a lift
Now every time I see one
I remember that special gift

I don't know how to explain it
or express it in beautiful words
All I can say is I'll never forget
the day God sent me... redbirds.

~Diane (2005)

You can see more Wordful/Wordless Wednesday posts at A Beautiful MessLive and Love Out Loud, and Parenting By Dummies.


  1. Wow. What a tender mercy. And what a great way to remember them. I love your idea. Can't wait to see more of your ornaments.

  2. That is so beautiful. I love cardinals any time of year, but especially at Christmas. The tradition in our family is to call them "Santa's birds." The legend is that the cardinals are Santa's watchers. If you are being especially naughty (or nice!) they will fly straight to the North Pole to report to Santa Claus. Thank you for sharing your story and your poetry with us.

  3. Go Redbirds! :)

    Have a great day!

  4. Your red birds are beautiful on the tree and your poem:)

  5. They are so pretty Diane. I love this time of year.

  6. awwww, love it. I love gazing at all the ornaments on our tree too. They all have a special memory attached to's like pulling out a scrapbook each year!