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Life sometimes gets in the way, and I haven’t had the opportunity to really pour myself into a project recently. My uncle, who has fallen ill, has been on my mind. Family is in from out of town, and everybody is coming together to see this whole things through.
One of the things that has completely stuck with me, though, is my uncle telling me that one of his favorite things to do is sit outside in his backyard. He enjoys spending time listening to the birds. At first, I think people gave him grief about it; it’s odd to sit on a porch and stare up at the sky for hours at a time. But then, if your time on this earth might just be running out, I would also imagine that the sound of a gentle breeze coursing through the trees might sound that much more soothing. The sound of birds chirping might sound that much sweeter.
Everything changes when you realize you’re living on borrowed time. When you realize how little you may have left.
So, thinking about these things, I sat down yesterday and worked on this illustration. It’s based on a photograph I took last year. I’ve always had a tough time getting decent photographs of birds, and one afternoon this cardinal managed to just hang out, for a good long while, on the tree outside our living room window. I’m sure my girlfriend thought I was crazy, walking back and forth, to both ends of the house, out the front door, through to the back door, moving like a slow lumbering, stalking maniac with a gigantic camera lens clutched in his fists.
But every moment truly is a gift. Even when we obsessively try to snap a picture of a bird and curse under our breath when we can’t get our camera to focus properly. Every moment is a gift, because we only ever get to enjoy each moment once. Enjoy your day. Find an excuse to smile. It’s important.