Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heron on guard: A lesson in awareness.

Walking with Jilly through the park the other day, I almost missed this amazing sight. Why? Outside, it was cloudy and cold, but inside, my mind was clouded too, with all those every day, ordinary, meaningless thoughts.

Suddenly, I looked up and my mind shifted from mindlessness to mindfulness.

There on the bridge was this huge, gorgeous Blue Heron. I stopped and stared. Suddenly, I was still in body and mind.

I've seen many Herons on the lake over the years, but I’ve never seen one perched on the bridge like this before. I didn’t have my camera. Wouldn’t you know it? Luckily my husband, Mike, had his phone and managed to walk slowly up to the bridge and get this wonderful shot within a few feet of the huge bird.

Sitting on the railing, this Heron was surveying the lake like a person sitting on a park bench. Easy. Calm. Relaxed.

I learned a lot standing there, watching. I learned to stop and keep my eyes and ears and mind on what's right in front of me, here and now. I learned to be still and to focus my thoughts with calm strength, regardless of what's going on around me.

What a great lesson in awareness.

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