I was walking at one of my favorite nature places (I say that a lot), enjoying a beautiful day with sunshine and warmth and the feeling of Fall in the air. This particular place is more manicured with specific walking paths so unlike the forest preserve, I rarely go off course except to perhaps rest on a bench. All the sudden I was pulled, I mean PULLED to turn off onto the grass toward a pond. I thought I don’t know why I’m going this way but I must. Walking over the little hill and almost to the water’s edge, I saw the reason. There stood one of my favorite animals and a special totem for me, the great blue heron. Wow OK, I’m here, what do you have to tell me? I sat down on the grass and watched her as she stood in the reeds staring out to the water.
The heron has given me so many lessons. S/he first appeared at my vision quest on the east coast, scaring the life out of me as I was quietly setting up my site by making a huge splash landing in the stream not five feet from me. During my quest, the heron taught me about patience, determination, self-reliance and strength. If you have ever watched a heron stand on their legs at the same spot on a pond for hours waiting to catch its next meal, you will understand why they embody these energetic traits. Those traits showed me how to STAY with determination and patience at my quest site for the whole three days.
Now I was waiting for messages, the reason I felt compelled to walk there. I could tell she was younger by her size and color, and felt the energy of a female. I was within seven or eight feet of her, and she stood so still without moving away as birds usually do from people. I waited patiently. Then I heard “you are also young, as a teacher in this life. Be more patient with yourself for not knowing how to do things, or say things, or for feeling less “evolved” than others. You are where you are, love yourself as is.”
That is a wonderful lesson, albeit a hard one for me. I began my spiritual studies later in life after raising my three children. Because of this I always feel behind, frustrated to catch up, and that there’s just not enough time to do that.
On my return home, I went back to Ted Andrew’s book, the best reference for animal symbolism and reread heron for probably the fiftieth time. Not surprising, each time you read it you receive different information, for wherever you are in that moment. So many things jumped out at me, but most important for this time… the longer the legs, the deeper the water the heron will feed in. The deeper life can be explored. The long thin legs of the heron reflect that you don’t need great massive pillars to remain stable, but you must be able to stand on your own. Well perfect, I have very long strong legs! I have always chosen to explore life deeply, and will stand with strength on my own two legs. And love myself where I AM.
Much love and gratitude to you Great Blue Heron for your wisdom and ancient knowledge, and your Pterodactyl look that makes me smile.