Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Where heads are tucked

photo credit
I step, this morning, through the crisp curtain between summer and autumn. I feel my senses reinvigorating, searching, down to my soul. On a favorite bench along a curve of lake, I sit and listen, finally, with no place to be but here.

I hear the morning breeze gently untangling leaves. The collective chanting of herds of bicyclists whirring past as one. The music of crow wings beating rhythmic flutter, their occasional "Caw!" from tree branches above where they congregate, but mostly, uncharacteristic quiet.

This space I inhabit is my decompression tank. The place where I need to return to stillness.

I ride my bicycle back along the lake to a spot I've so often caught sight of heron. My feet slide down a dusty path, between trodden walls of dry grass, and my sudden entrance sends slider turtles diving off a basking log into the lake.

The sight of a heron resting on the end of the log startles me. I freeze, reach for my binoculars, slowly inch forward on my haunches, jockeying for a clearer view.

If he notices me, and I'm certain he must with those all-seeing eyes, he doesn't stir. With my binoculars, I hone in on him from head to long-stemmed legs, inwardly praising him as I would a work of art. For that is what he is, no doubt.  Noting that white tuft atop his head that lifts in the wind, a feathered mohawk, his hunched shoulders the color of a storm-tossed sea. His corn yellow eye with its fixed black bullseye is open, unblinking. I watch as, over the course of minutes, it starts to close, the curtain of his eyelid drawing up from bottom to top. It pauses in the middle, continues its ascent. His head slowly droops, bobs, he fights, and the curtain falls back down. He continues this near motionless resistance until surrender. 

I leave him now, as silently as I can, with his head tucked at his side. Not fighting, fishing or flying, but resting.

This, too, is exactly where I long to be found in this season.

Linking up with Unforced Rhthyms


  1. Oh, honey. How lovely. You got to see one of your bird children fall asleep, and then off you tiptoed, not wanting to disturb. This is so dear. I love how you learn from the creatures. xoxo

  2. Sounds like a beautiful spot - and a lovely time of quiet and reflection!

  3. A hushed tribute to stillness and the fierce power of rest. Amen and amen.