THIS MAY MORNING AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, Sparky the Cardinal is singing his fool head off. We are very glad he does—though we would like him to keep his head attached—for his is the consistent, unwavering, unchallenged voice of Pine Point. Other singers are here as well, and we love them all. The chickadees, like Sparky, are a year-round presence, and add beauty and good cheer to all our days. And other singers of great ability—like the heavenly wood thrush and the sweet singing little house wren—come and go with the seasons. But Sparky is, by dint of talent, faithfulness, purity of sound and brilliance of plumage—and volume—our universally recognized Church Soloist.
Today he runs through his entire repertoire of cadenzas and arias, with special spring flourishes topping things off like whipped cream on a sundae. Or a Sunday. We are all in awe, of course, as usual. And we feel blessed to be the recipients of Sparky’s vocalizations. I might mention that Sparky has seemed a little more proud and filled with self-esteem than usual lately. Perhaps because I mentioned to him that an entire essay in the next book is devoted to his story.
On the other hand, maybe he wasn’t that impressed. Simply happy to be singing on a May morning. Good Sabbath to all!