AND See Through the Eyes of Another

November 8th, 2015

Walking by the marshes on the wildlife preserve, I was again treated to the beauty of the heron. A bird that doesn’t look as if it would ever be able to fly, given its long spindly legs for wadding in the marsh, it took note of my presence and abruptly flew off.

The wingspan of the great blue heron is several feet and quite something to watch. I noticed how much awe and wonder were awakened in me simply by being present to watch this bird. When it landed, it blended in with the marsh, looking like a stick in the distance.

I continued to watch it and noticed a smaller version on the other side of the water. It appeared to be a baby heron, smaller in stature, yet clearly another blue heron. The adult and younger heron appeared to be independently navigating the marsh. I couldn’t tell whether the older one, which was closer to the road, had any protective role towards the younger or not.

Yet a third heron, this one the green heron, a smaller more stout bird, appeared in the marsh. I stood mesmerized by the trio’s apparent independent actions. Knowing that I had a book at home offering a Native American interpretation on the appearance of animals on one’s path, I decided to review the storyline associated with the heron.

The book, called Animal Wisdom, highlighted the unconventional and unstructured way that the heron lives. The message of being in the world not of the world and following one’s path naturally, rather than looking outside for wisdom or approval, enables the heron to live its unique purpose and walk its path with its own unique style. The wisdom of the native tradition offers a gift of perspective from a tradition that is not my own. AND I find it intriguing, inspiring, and insightful.

I noticed the smile that crept across my face as I reflected on the gift of the heron and the heron’s message. So many cultures different from our own offer perspectives that suggest new ways of greeting the world. AND I find the willingness to appreciate a different perspective, without judgment or filter, can offer moments of new insight, awe, and wonder. AND we are individually and collectively enriched when we choose to do so.

Comments are closed.