August 6, 2014
I was going to write a different essay than this, but that can ruminate in my mind for a little longer. I am having an unusual day and I want to share it. This morning started like many others, however, I did go back to sleep after waking at 5:30 and didn’t wake up again until 7:00 AM. So already the day was off to a bit of a different start and the extra sleep was welcome. Yesterday, I picked blueberries with my sister Meg. We walked to the blueberry patch and the day was already heating up. The picking was not at its peak so we spent more than an hour in the hot sun, each picking two quarts of blueberries. I was wiped out after we finished. So the extra sleep this morning was a gift.
I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish today—nothing onerous and getting out for a walk was high on the list. The earliest I could get out was 10:00. It was already sunny and getting warm. I took my time on the walk and tried to focus on the nature around me. As I walked down a quiet road a Great Blue Heron flew right down the middle of the road only about 10 or 12 feet from the ground; so beautiful, graceful and quiet as he made his flight. Then as I was approaching the end of the road he was sitting there in all his majesty. It seemed as if he was waiting for me to get there. I stood still. I looked at the heron and he just looked back in an authoritative way. I found myself thinking of my sister, Grace, who lost her husband several years ago to metastatic ocular melanoma. She believed her deceased husband communicated to her through various birds. They were both magical and comforting to her.
Was there magic or communication in this heron? After I continued my walk he flew past me again—low to the ground. A little way up the road he had landed in another yard, and as soon as I spotted him from a distance he took flight again. I assumed he was headed to the river just up ahead. Then, I thought I spotted him one more time on the riverbank. I wasn’t sure—it was just a sliver of him. When I got to the spot he was gone.
As I finished my walk, I found myself musing on what all this meant, if anything. As soon as I rested a bit, I started my Qi Gong and the exercises I do to keep as fit as I can, both physically and mentally. As I did my warmups, a bird flew into the hanging pot outside the front window. The bird then hoped down to the porch and began walking back and forth right in front of me on the porch. I stopped to watch. Birds don’t come to the front porch often. After a time, the bird flew away and I continued my Qi Gong. My hands were on fire with energy. I could feel tingling and energy bursting from my hands—particularly when I used motions that were pulling up the energy and wisdom of the earth. Nature, energy and I were mixing together. It was powerful.
The next day in my Qi Gong class I shared my story with the other students and instructor. They seemed awed by the story. I mentioned in the story that I was walking on the road because my balance was more precarious in the woods. My instructor immediately responded that the heron may have been taking care that I kept my balance while on the walk. This thought seemed very insightful as my balance is a significant issue for me. The instructor pointed out that the Heron often stands on one leg with the other bent without a waver in its stance. He then proceeded to teach us a kind of Qi Gong walk which imitates how a heron walks. With my balance issues, the walk was not easy for me but I could see how practicing this walk could help improve my balance.
Is there magic here? I have been working toward being a part of the energy that is our whole world—out through the earth, the solar system and the whole cosmos. I am a speck, but also part of a whole. Birds are special; they can fly, they can soar and they can also put their feet on the ground. Birds connect heaven and earth. I felt comforted by the whole experience. It was a day of hope.