It’s early morning and the heron stands in stillness in the center of the shallow harbor. The water ripples intermittently in circles nearby him and I wonder if that movement is caused by fish coming close to the surface. I would expect him to be interested in those events if that were so, but he seems not to notice, and continues his meditative stillness. As I watch, he begins moving ever so slowly, his measured steps barely disturbing the surface of the water. As if in a formal procession he walks through the water towards the river in the direction of the harbor water’s flow. After a few steps he turns to survey his surroundings then turns and begins processing back to where he began.
I marvel at his grace and what seems to me, endless patience. Native peoples would call the heron my totem, meaning that he has much to teach, and those lessons are ones that I need to learn. I agree there seems to be some unexplainable connection between the heron and I, since often in my daily life, one shows up. When living in Texas, my husband and I would take morning walks in a nearby park. The path we followed encircled a pond where we often encounter a heron. But according to my husband, when he visited the pond alone, the heron was never there.
The heron’s gift to me today was to inspire me to slow down long enough to experience his graceful moving meditation as he walked in the water.