As Bethany Bernard put her key into the front door, she had one thought on her mind:
“If there is a God in heaven, Daniel will have a glass of wine already poured for me.”
Daniel was her husband of four years, and he knew that by the time Friday night rolled around, his wife would be worn out and cranky from the work week. Wine was her way to forget that Monday morning was only two and a half days away. That in less than seventy-two hours she would once again have to deal with people who repeatedly put in orders days past the date the client needed the product delivered.
“Honey, I’m home!” she called out from their foyer. “Please tell me you have the wine already poured. You won’t believe the day I’ve had!”
“I have a glass chilling for you in the fridge, but come outside with me first. There’s something you need to see,” he said while gently taking her by the hand and leading her out to their back deck.
“Oh no,” Bethany said. “The garage finally caved in, didn’t it?”
It had been in rough shape when they bought the place two years ago and had only gotten more decrepit since then, so it was a legitimate question.
“No, something nice,” Daniel assured her. “Look what’s sitting in the chain link fence over by the sumac bush.”
It took awhile for Bethany’s eyes to focus on what he was pointing at, but once she caught sight of it, she knew exactly what was before her.
“It’s a baby cardinal!”, she said enthusiastically while still managing not to speak above a whisper out of fear of scaring the little bird. “I thought I heard little chirps coming from that bush the other night. I wonder where its mom and dad are.”
No sooner had she said that when a male cardinal swooped in and landed on top of the fence. With louder chirps, the bigger bird coaxed the baby into joining him up top. Then, with a few more chirps of encouragement, the baby cardinal flew off and headed towards the direction of the sun.
“The baby’s learning how to fly,” Bethany said. “What a sight to see! Do babies return to the nest once they know how to fly, or is he on his own now?”
“I don’t know,” Daniel answered. “But it looks like he caught on to flying pretty fast. That’s half the battle. So anyway, tell me about your day.”
Bethany turned to tell him about the latest fool who tested her patience that day, but suddenly it didn’t matter. Being able to witness that baby cardinal first’s flight reminded her how beautiful and magical the world can be at times. She no longer felt the need to gripe at her husband. She didn’t even need that glass of wine.