satsang with a female cardinal

I was heading out to satsang at the Fioretti’s home. Satsang is a gathering of spiritual seekers. When I opened my car door, I heard a flutter of wings. A bird was in the garage. I didn’t want to lower the door when I drove off and trap it there. Do birds get post traumatic stress?

Once before when this had happened, I’d taken an old broom handle and, speaking softly as to a parakeet in a cage, slowly offered the stick near its feet. The bird had trusted me enough to step on the stick and allow me to gently motion it toward the opening to freedom.

This bird was perched too high, on the garage door opener above. I looked more closely—a cardinal, female. She was quite beautiful! Her brown body was tinged with reddish orange. Her beak, however, was bright orange, as if she wore lipstick. For a moment, we looked at each other–one species to another. It was a direct look, honest and sincere. I was trying to convey sympathy and she seemed calm about being in this new space.

I realized my partner would be arriving home soon from work. I wasn’t going to close the garage door on the bird. After all, we’d just shared a sort of satsang between species.

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