Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
The Great Blue
by Kit Croucher
My quiet time upon wakening Sunday morning in July at Canandaigua—-vacation time in the Finger Lakes of New York State. A light rain falls hardly making noise as drops hit the water. Ripples are easy to see in willow-shadowed water. Their circular shapes float further out, pearlized on opalescent lake water. Waves are baby kisses bumping the shale beach.
I am not alone in this meditation.
I am with a Great Blue Heron stands still at the end of the nearby dock positioned to peer in three distances—-North, South—-up and down the lake—-and East to the sunrise.
Dare I take time go to the living room for binoculars from the fireplace mantle? Pluck pencil and journal from desk? Grab my mother's old Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America?
Yes. It waits. Yes. The Great Blue Heron stands in solo comfort owning the dock.
Ardea herodias on page 85: the second largest wading bird in the Northern states. Its wingspan is equal to that of an eagle. Now it preens its feathers,its neck making a closed loop to its shoulders. It is standing on one leg or else on two that line up to my single perspective point.
When is a bird more than a bird?
I remember childhood canoe trips paddling up the inlet. We sight a Great Blue Heron just ahead of us, going round a bend, then another—-leading us further from the main lake waters to homes of the wilder ones in the wetlands. Ten-foot high grasses and cattails make tunnels of waterways.
Great Blue our guide.
The Great Blue strolls to the end of the dock sighting up and down the lake. Does it look into the water for breakfast like my cat looks from the deck railing into the field?
This bird wisely copes with nature's destiny and enjoys a rainy spiritual morning as part of a greater force. I have shared the alchemy in this bird's domain of earth, sky and water for ninety minutes. I write more rapidly. Will I look up from my journal and see the Great Blue is gone?
Yes. The peace of the morning remains with me. I have been lifted.
Kit Croucher, MA, BFA, is both a visual artist—mixed media paintings and sculpture—and a writer—creative non-fiction and poetry. She is most pleased when these two creative processes come together in artists books. She has earned grants and awards in her field. Kit also teaches and leads workshops in Napa Valley.
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