Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Elusive Cardinal

Did you ever want to take a picture so badly that you risked your life doing it?

Near my home is a gorgeous sanctuary where wildlife, an array of exotic flowers, and plants abound. There’s even a reflecting pool that seems to stretch into eternity.

In the spring, many of the high schools have their prom pictures taken at “Donegal Springs Garden” because there are bridges, walkways, and an abundance of benches and gorgeous backdrops. But I come to the garden to pray, reflect, and give thanks.

After an hour of being in paradise, I walked back to the car and spotted a cardinal on a leafless tree branch just three feet away. I remembered my camera in the car and gingerly opened the door to grab it. When I reached in the glove compartment, I sneezed, and the bird took flight.

Seasonal allergies were the culprit.

But that didn’t stop me, I followed that red-feathered creature all through the park: I climbed over rocks, forged through streams, and fell into a groundhog hole, only to miss the elusive red bird mocking, “You can’t catch me!”

I consoled myself by saying, “I didn’t want a picture of cardinal in spring anyway; I wanted one in the snow!”


To tell you the truth—at that point—any red bird would have done! I came home with scrapes, a bruised ego, and probably a few deer ticks.

The elusive cardinal escaped me this time, but I took the opportunity to look around me and find more beauty that I missed the first time because my eye was on just ONE thing—the cardinal!

How many times do we seek after the elusive thing and therefore miss the opportunity to find real beauty…all around us!


Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Wow, what a story Connie dear! I could just see you climbing over rocks (hee, hee, hee). You're too funny!

And yes, there have been times I have been so dead set on something that I miss out - really. God has so much He wants to show us if we just take the time to see.

Much love,

P.S. I'll email you about MOPS. Wonderful experience!

Greg C said...

Sometimes the trip is better than the destination. I hope you recovered but next time be more careful. I have done the same thing though so who am I to say that. :)

Connie Pombo said...

Greg, you are so wise. It's so true, isn't it?

After I had chased that cardinal through the forest, I had to laugh...I lost my way back to the path. But it was a beautiful journey to be sure.

I felt like a little kid with scraped-up knees (that's one way to keep looking young!)


Connie Pombo said...


You need to come on my photo journeys (it is a true adventure!).


inspired said...

traveling with connie is like being their \o/

Jan Parrish said...

How beautiful. I'm not sure I'd ever want to leave. I'd take my laptop and write the day away.

Connie Pombo said...

Okay, inspired I had to get out my spread sheet of emoticons to figure that one out and I'm still confused. :-/


Connie Pombo said...


This garden is so awesome; I wrote about it in the book, "I'm Glad I'm a Mom." Both my "boys" had their prom pictures taken has a lot of memories. The reflecting pool is amazing.

My husband has a new "to-do" list for me: plant a seed, pull a weed, and take a picture every day. He knows me better than I know myself. I love that man!

Sharon Lynne said...

What a beautiful place to walk! It sounds fun to chase that bird. But you make a good point. We often run through life that way without stopping and enjoying what we CAN see.

Connie Pombo said...


I'm sure you can proably catch those cardinals on your dirt bike! I don't think I'll risk it though(I'm still recovering from my last accident!). Oh, but the thrill of it all.


Colleen said...

Wow Connie!

That was a great story! It was written so well and I love the ending, about what we miss out on because we are so focused on just one thing. The Lord has been teaching me a great lesson about that on and for oh, that past 4 months or so. I love your blog. I don't think I've been here before. I will have to come back.
BTW You know Marsh Marks! That is just too funny. After I read Flying By The Seat Of My Pants, I went out and bought all her books , becuase I related to her that much. Thanks for reading my blog. Can't wait to read more of your stuff =)


Connie Pombo said...


Marsha is as real in person as her books read...she's the life of the party and is just too much fun!

I can just imagine what it's like around her house...flying by the seat of her pants. I have a few stories to tell!

I'm leaving at 5:00 AM tomorrow for Stowe, VT; I'm speaking at the Weekend of Hope (for cancer survivors). I haven't even packed yet. We'll "talk" more when I get back--okay?!?!?