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RISE AND SHINE 34: The Sage of Rudy and Rita

Rise and Shine: Woman with Arms Outstretched at Sunrise - Ready to Take on the Day

The Infinite Nature of Love

When I consider the infinite nature of love, I always think of my mom, a window, and a clothesline.  Those three things became a portal to a world of wonder, joy, and an understanding of the miraculous blessings of hearts open to loving all things great and small.  As I’m typing this, my eyes fill with tears as I remember…and give thanks.

We weren’t rich.  We lived in a simple house with a kitchen window and a yard with a clothesline.  My mother often stood at that window as she washed dishes, and yet no palace could have offered greater opportunities to grow a heart that loved unconditionally and a soul that expanded to embrace the light and joyously share it with all the world.  My childhood was spent in that light, and the Saga of Rudy and Rita began there.

Chili Beans and Cornbread

I’m not sure when this wondrous journey began, but I’m guessing that it began with chili and beans and cornbread.  Yes, dear born to shine friends, I did just type that, AND cornbread was one of the magical ingredients…as were the clothesline and the window.  My mom, a kind and gentle spirit, was standing at that window when she saw a pair of cardinals land on the clothesline.  The birds and my mom immediately connected, even though cardinals often spook at the sight of a being that could bring harm and death.  The three remained transfixed by the encounter and connected heart to heart by a love that embraced all living things.  My mom, being a true southern lady, immediately wanted to feed the birds, and, Ta Dah, here comes the common, yet magical in that moment, cornbread.  My mom walked outside and crumbled some cornbread where the cardinals could see it.  She stepped back as the birds flew to eat the gift Mama had offered.  In that moment, the three of them bridged that gap between species and began a trusting and unconditional relationship that would span generations of cardinals and most of my childhood.

The cardinals continued to come to the clothesline every, single day.  My mom began to call them Rudy and Rita, and they began to call her when they wanted some of her delicious cornbread — a single note signaled the beginning of another heart expanding visit that proved the possibility of a love that was unconditional and transforming.  Bird and human lived a hope for a tomorrow that had love enough for all — not just the ones that were defined as worthy.

Cardinals on the Clothesline

Rudy and Rita, Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal, included their children as their family grew, and their babies loved my mother just as they did.  I don’t know how many generations of these beautiful crimson-feathered creatures became a part of my family.  I only know that there were always cardinals on our clothesline, that they always voiced that single note to call to my mom, and that they always loved her and her cornbread.

Every word of this story is true, and my eyes are filling with tears as I realize, once again, how I was blessed, transformed, in those moments.  My eyes were opened to the spiritual sight that sees the miracles that exist all around us — the miracles that prove that love is big enough to share with everyone and everything and available to us through simple, everyday things like a mom, a window, and a clothesline.

Love Is the Answer

My wish for you this day is that some simple, everyday things will open a portal in your life, a portal that will fill you with the wonder and certainty that you are, and always will be, enough.

Love is the answer.  It always has been.




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