Wednesday, August 15, 2012

blue heron i saw you

sunday we were driving down woodsy route fifty-six on our way home from our hike.  we were chatting about the week ahead, what we were going to make for dinner and whether or not we wanted to watch the closing ceremony of the olympics later that night.  we both had post-hike high/malaise. 

something caught my eye as we traveled over a bridge.  i only saw it for a fraction of a second and immediately doubted its reality:  a glorious blue heron perched on a rock in the middle of a stream.

i shook it off as hallucination because 1) we don't have blue herons in virginia and 2) i really didn't drink enough water so i must be dehydrated.  some seconds went by before i asked ken to turn around.  i didn't want to tell him why because i felt embarrassed that i'd imagined a giant bird.  we turned around and then took some time to find a spot to pull over on the side of the road.  i quickly walked to the bridge and there he was.  perched, exactly as i saw him before, one long skinny stick leg bent in quintessential heron pose.

i acknowledged him before i lifted my camera.  in that second, he (or she) let out the most dramatic sca-reech and flew away.  you can see the ripples his/her giant wings made in the water in this photo.  the photo i took one second before this one showed the heron as he/she was launching his/her massive and beautiful body into flight.  it looked awkward and contorted.  i prefer this photo because the graceful and strong ghost of the bird remains for me.

after taking pixie's class at serendipity last fall and experiencing serendipitous animal visits since, i trust that when animals appear it means something.  a quick internet search tells me that the blue heron is about self-reliance, responsibility, independence, fearlessness, balance, taking advantage of opportunities.  blue heron "teaches us how to become comfortable in uncertain situations where we need to watch for an opportunity to arise and quickly grasp it. it calls us to take courage and follow our true path, which will be discovered through exploring our inner selves, and finding what draws us to action."

(and i was mistaken, blue herons do live in virginia.  who knew?)