Today kicked me to the curb. We had a 16 degree below zero windchill factor as students and staff alike walked from our faraway parking lots into college today. A student walking behind me said to her friend, "I feel like crying." It's that brutal. The cold is so oppressive. I used to be a winter girl, but I'm starting to finally understand why fragile-bodied retirees flee towards the sun, their flaky, phyllo-dough skin yearning for warmth.
And why wasn't that bird flying toward the equator? Yesterday I saw a red cardinal outside our building window, and he has been on my mind ever since. There were several birds flitting around a bare-branched tree. I watched the cardinal rise toward the branches and then fall back to the ground. Was it injured? It didn't look like it had a broken wing. Soon it was the only bird left. I wanted to go rescue it from the balmy 8 degree below zero windchill, but suddenly it was pecking at the ground for/at food.
I started pecking inside my brain and pulled forth 5th grade. Cardinals don't migrate in the winter. And, they mate for life. Maybe this is a love story after all. I'm still worried about that little guy, though...and myself as I start to consider where I can migrate until the spring equinox.