A day or two after the Navarathri season, the husband & I headed out on a walk by the riverside. All was quiet. The husband and I were not.
The most common ailment of our times: busy times were ailing us both. Our days were packed, and our minds full. Corporate fortunes and misfortunes played out on the global scene. The husband, more stoic than Yours Truly in matters of life was nodding as I rattled on.
- Should I do this?
- Should I do that?
- Which course of action seems to be the most prudent?
- Most effective?
Finally, I slowed down enough to make a comment about the trees and leaves. The earth was parched – California’s drought this year has left a dry riverbed, and I felt sorry for the numerous creatures that lived here.
The blue herons, great white egrets, cattle egrets, and hundreds of blackbirds, wrens etc are a welcome sight on walks. My eyes involuntarily scoured the riverside for the marvelous creatures, even though the sunset skies were gift enough.
The deer, fox, sheep, cats are all admired too.
As we were talking of this and that, I spotted a blue heron standing on the river bank. It was probably a baby (an ornithologist on the trail told me that the grey coloration of their feathers, and the thickness of their necks are indicators). I tugged the husband’s hands and said, “Look!”
We both stopped. Admirable creatures, herons.
“You know? Herons teach us to remain calm and observe life without taking too much tensions of the comings and goings around them. But when swift action is merited, you can’t beat them. We must be like herons!” I said.
The husband gave me an amused look and I laughed “I know! I know! Nice talk – but where’s the application you ask?”
We both laughed, but the image of herons never fails to calm me down. Maybe that’s what we must have in our calendars – heron time, hummingbird time, tree time, star time.
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night . . . I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. . . For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.Wendell Berry