“The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” Julie Cameron
As soon as I crested the top of the hill in the deep shadows not yet touched by the sun of a new day, I sensed movement to my left. I turned to see her making a circle around the end of the lake nearest to me. Her wing span was glorious as she dipped and floated on air before turning to return to her fishing spot.
I looked around at the three other walkers and a photographer that I could see. If they had seen her brief moment of exuberant showing off they seemed to have no reaction. I knew that show was for me. Somehow she knows when I am there.
I have been stalking the herons at an area Tennessee lake for years. There is a flashy male who enjoys posing and grooming himself. There was the spring I watched a heron hatchling become and awkward juvenile in summer. I have watched the herons dive bomb the egret that occasionally dares to stop by the small lake. In the summer I am amused by the small green herons that disappear when the nights get cool. One day I saw five herons fly across the lake together, but of course I did not have time to capture a photo.
I don’t walk at the lake as regularly as I once did, but when I do I rarely miss seeing her. On several occasions I have been with in three feet of her as we stared at each other. On numerous occasions she has posed for me before taking flight. I have watched her fish because it gives me such joy. This spring she built her nest on the side of the lake where I can walk so I could check on her and the kids. I saw her drop off a fish one morning.
As I was returning to the hill to return to my car, I decided to walk across the small dam. There she was, contently standing in the same place where I had see her land 30 minutes earlier. By this time the park was packed. No one else noticed the elegant lady, partially obscured by small undergrowth, patiently waiting on a snack to come her way.
My nephew and brother live Colorado. They also seem to have unusual Blue Heron sightings and interactions. We often wonder who the is heron. When I see a cardinal I know it is my grandmother. But we have no clue who the heron represents. We are just glad that she stalks us.