Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ode to a Great Blue Heron

It is foliage season in New England, the leaves are turning their brilliant or not so brilliant colors before dropping to the ground to be come recycled material. It always sneaks up on me, one day I will be standing in the woods and they are awash in color, the next day, or so it seems all that's left are branches. The variances in between are imperceptible. We become accustomed to our surroundings so don't notice the beauty until it is too late. I said good bye to the Great Blue Heron that lives nearby, a bird that somehow, in some way I see almost every day, either flying overhead at dusk, or sitting on the edge of the pond, waiting for his dinner to pop up. Soon he will be leaving for warmer climates, along with the Canadian geese and hummingbirds. But it is this smokey gray bird that I will miss the most as snow starts to blanket my backyard. I live in an area with four seasons, each having its draw points. Autumn with the brilliant colors, fresh apples, pumpkins and breezy bright clear days. Winter has soft white snow, fires in the hearth, hot chocolate and...and what? Shorter days that allow for cozy naps, and (insert your own winter wonder here.) So yes, I may be a little bitter about the end to warmer temperatures and my favorite bird, but I have become accustomed to my surroundings so much that I have failed to accept every season, including the one that is hard on the wallet and snow shovel. Winter is also the season to bundle up, become quiet and go within. The blanket of snow muffles most of the outside activity. Spring's dramatic burst, and autumn's color spectacular make way for a time of solitude and silence. I don't work well with peace and quiet. As November approaches I want to be cognoscente of my internal dramatic self that longs for a little chaos and excitement, a roller coaster ride or two. I can feel her yawn and stretch, to start daydreaming about possible ways to create trouble, to pick a fight or bring a little color to the silence. This winter I want to sit in the silence and learn how to enjoy it, beyond acceptance. The silence is where I find my God, my connection with the vastness that is there.

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