Monday, June 13, 2011

A Gift from Great Spirit

"An inch of surprise 
leads to a mile of gratefulness."

~Brother David Steindl-Rast

Saturday evening I engaged in a long-standing ritual of walking along the lakefront down to the dock to take in the evening's sights and sounds and perhaps catch the sunset.  That simple but profound process is a huge part of what connects me to this place ~ and often what those of us who love it here recall during times of strife, when relaxation is needed or harsh winter days make dreams of summer warmth seem very far away.

I encountered friendly people, an array of dogs, lovely flowers, and familiar houses, trees, rocks, benches, and more.  I stopped to ponder briefly at the bench and tree near the pavilion that were established in memory of my father 20+ years ago.

Then I proceeded out onto the dock, where I could see groups of people gathered around taking photos and chatting.  Suddenly, this magnificent sight appeared:

There it was ~ right in front of me ~ a majestic Blue Heron!

In all my years of coming here, I do not ever recall seeing one perched on the edge of the dock like this.  It was very tame and hung out for a long time ~ waiting for a nearby fisherman to throw it some extra food.  Smart bird.

It walked a bit up and down ~ even turning from side to side as if to say, "Here, take another picture of this side."  If folks got too close, it would flap its wings and fly a bit further out, resting in a less-busy section.  It tolerated all manner of onlookers.  One boy caught a Goby and left it on the cement.  The Heron quickly walked over and scooped it up.

I lingered quite a while, soaking in the mystery and magic of close communion with such an amazing bird.  I noticed its variety of textures and colors.  I looked into its eyes.  I watched its topnotch flutter in the breeze.  In those moments, the rest of the world fell away and I was fully present in communion with Great Spirit.  I felt a powerful sense of having been blessed by this incredible opportunity.

Of course, when I returned to the cottage, I immediately went to investigate the significance of Great Blue Heron medicine. usual...I marveled at the relevant meaning of its appearance.

Role = PeaceMaker

Lesson = balance between relating and standing alone

Element = Air/Water

Wind = East...Peace and Illumination

Medicine = Uniqueness

Keywords =

~ability to stand alone
~call to balance

You can read more of the essay here.

In spite of the maze of questions that remain in light of my decision to leave home and family to come spend the summer here ~ and the ever-unfolding ramifications that meet my days ~ I continue to believe it is where I am meant to be right now.

I choose to embrace this gift of Spirit and its meaning as affirmation of that I am seen and supported by forces greater than myself.  As a result, it is with much awe and gratitude I go forward on my Journey.

"Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, 
and all the while a great wind is bearing me across the sky."

~Ojibwa saying


  1. He is a beautiful bird, and obviously also a ham! Haha.

    I'm glad you've received such a wonderful affirmation of your journey. :)

  2. I saw two herons flying overhead while I was driving on Sunday! Well, I figured they were either herons or pterodactyls! :) I was near a small creek, but I had no idea that these great birds could be found there. (The creek runs along residential neighborhoods and a working factory.) I'm glad to know what they signify. How serendipitous!