When you’re out in nature often enough, you get to know the birds, the animals, the plants; and, I believe that they get to know us as well. I’ve heard that crows are especially astute at learning of and tracking on specific people; and ducks, geese and swans will head your way if they think you’ve come bearing bread crumbs. But what about blue herons?
I happen to walk by a lake that is a frequent hangout for a local blue heron. Over the last year, his favorite spot has shifted from a tree-line shoreline to a mucky-mud bar in the lake. And, yes, he’s quite territorial about his spot when it comes to other feathery friends taking short cuts or making bee lines. So, these lake encounters started our relationship way back when – our 1st encounter(s) of the lake-kind.
Our 2nd and 3rd encounters have been different than the previous I-see-you-and-you-see-me moments. I hadn’t been out walking on the local trails for more than a month due to wintery-late-sunrises, chilly-icy-temperatures, and a I-feel-like-a-slug laziness. But over the last week, I restarted my tri-weekly morning walks. On my first day out, said blue heron flew a few feet over my head as I walked down a side street to finish my walk. Hum, perhaps just a coincident. Then, on my second day out, said blue heron came in for a look-at-me! splashy lake landing within a few feet of where I was walking. Hum, perhaps just another coincident. Yet, these happened on two totally different sets of trails walking in two totally different directions!
This prompted me to look up Blue Heron as a totem animal. So as I head out in the weeks ahead, I will walk mindfully and meditatively to see what else happens on this bird-human path of synchronicity.
Leslie Gernon is an outdoor guide (i.e., shinrin-yoku walks, wellness walks, and labyrinth events), counselor