Yesterday I was blessed by the sight of a great blue heron who flew overhead while I was outside practicing qigong by the creek. I have waited for a long time to see one. I have seen many of the smaller white egrets in my backyard creek environment, but until now I had never see a great blue. I heard his call as he approached from the south, behind me. I looked up and the sheer size of his wingspan made my heart flutter a little. The shape of his neck and his coloration made him, unmistakably, a great blue heron. He continued silently on his flight to the north, toward the bay, following the creek.
The photo above is of a painting made by my friend Sara Loesch Frank, a very talented calligrapher and painter (you can visit her website here and see lots of her wonderful work). About ten years ago she offered this painting for sale at her open studio and we were the lucky buyers. It has held pride of place in my living room gallery for years. I kind of thought it might be the charm that would let me see a real bird. But blessings of this kind can’t be arranged or bought; they just pass by and you just hope you are alert enough to notice when they do. I would have missed him if he hadn’t called. I have spent enough time by the creek to hear lots of different dialects of the feathered people, but I had never heard this one and so I looked up. And received a great gift.