Cardinals, Hope, and the Pandemic

Of cardinals, hope, and the pandemic….  This past Christmas, my cousin, Beth, and her husband, John, got us a birdseed wreath that hangs outside on a window.  In late February, we finally got around to hanging it up in a prominent spot at The Inn.  A couple of weeks later, starting right around the same time that everything came to a grinding halt in many of our lives and around the world with pandemic, birds seemingly discovered the feeder wreath.  For about seven weeks now, a pair of cardinals, Ohio’s state bird, have visited the lilac tree that’s right outside of my desk throughout the day from earl morning until nightfall.  We named them, of course, Beth and John.  There are a pair of tiny titmouse and house wrens that regularly visit, too.  They all take their turns feeding on the wreath.  It may seem like a small thing, but it has brought much joy during these uncertain times and they are always together, like so many families these days.  Since that first wreath, we have bought several more so we could continue enjoying them each day.  Even during lapses when the new wreaths haven’t yet arrived, the cardinals still show-up for days…. anxiously waiting their newfound eatery.

At some point in this journey we’re all on right now, I saw a post about cardinals.  A cardinal has long been thought to represent a loved one who has passed – an angel.  When you see one, it’s supposed to mean they are visiting you.  As the story goes, they usually show up when you most need them or miss them.  Also, they make an appearance during times of celebration, as well as despair, to let you know they will always be with you.  I love that imagery.  For us, this has certainly been an emotional ride with our family-owned business going so strong in the 1st Quarter and suddenly coming to a stop like so many others for the past eight weeks. I love the thought of the cardinals being angels watching over us, over our family, over our friends, over our guests, and over our business. I like to think that it might be my Mom or my Dad visiting. Or maybe it’s Bobbi’s Dad, my motorcycle riding buddy and a one-of-a-kind man who I miss dearly.  Either way, they bring comfort in a time of uncertainty.  May you all be visited by a cardinal soon in your life.

We sorely miss our guests at The Inn.  We anxiously await the time we again hear the lively conversations over breakfast, watch new friendships blossom, celebrate a special occasion with our guests, and hear the laughter and good times throughout our B&B.  And lastly, we thank so many of our guests, both old and new, who have been so supportive throughout this changing time we’re going through.  It has been heartwarming, and overwhelming, for us at times.  You have truly been a blessing to us more than we could ever begin to properly express and we will never forget.

I’ll leave you with this poem that’s been going around which my friend, Pat, shared yesterday on his Facebook page.  This break in the hustle and bustle of our everyday world has been a time for reflection for many of us, a time to re-evaluate many things, a time of re-prioritizing, and a time to begin doing some things better than you might have been doing in the past.  As I look at the leaves emerging in the trees, the grass returning to a lush green, perennials breaking through the earth, windows flown open, dogwoods in bloom, the smell of freshly cut grass and intoxicating lilacs, and the much welcome warmer weather, may it be a time of rebirth, growth, and self-betterment for us all.

Please, if you get a chance, visit our new website and plan a well-deserved staycation with us.  We’d love to meet you or welcome you back with open arms.

“In the Time of Pandemic” ~ a poem written by a retired U.S. teacher, Catherine “Kitty” O’Meara, on March 16, 2020

And people stayed at home
And read books
And listened
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened
More deeply
Someone meditated, someone prayed
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.
And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways
Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
The earth also began to heal
And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.

Wishing all of you the best,