A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side; and it swam the length of the pool and came to the legs of a motionless heron that stood in the shallows. A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically. Of Mice and Men
One of the blessing of living beside this large patch of wetlands is the visitors we see with regularity. One of my favorites are the herons. From the massive silver Great blue herons, to the smaller green herons, they never cease to give us pause with their beauty and their stillness. The patience and the determination with which they spend their day stalking prey. It is a sight to behold. They are one of those creatures, that no matter how bad things are, and no matter how lost I am, I find myself drawn to be still and watch, just as they do. To focus and to be patient. In a world where everything is going so very fast, it is a nice change. Our herons are usually here daily. I find myself looking for them in the reeds. I never just walk past and rush on. Every time I stop. Remarkable how a single sentient being can create that effect. I wonder what it is that I see in them. Is it their beauty? or their size? or is it their ability to be so still for so long? Am I longing for that ability to create that stillness in my mind? Do I envy the ease with which they appear to stand over the pond?
I am truly fortunate to have this patch of wild land where these animals come. Whether it be the graceful does in their ruddy summer coats with fawns tagging along, or the blue birds that line the fences in the early evening, we are surrounded by nature. I think the heron really symbolizes that. There is utter peace here, if only I can allow myself to settle and see it. I need more heron moments, and less chaos. Maybe someday I will find my shallow pond and the stillness of that great blue heron.