The more I think about it, the more magical the moment gets. The one I experienced at the creek last night. Wonder if the longer I wait to write about it, the more profound my reflection of it will be. Or maybe not. Probably best if I just jump in and for your sake, start at the beginning.
It was about 5:30 pm when a walk sounded great after a nonstop day. Normally I like to unplug. Because I had sent a text asking a friend to join me, the phone went into a pocket and off I went.
A favorite route is through a section of houses, across a parking lot and down an incline toward the bridge crossing Aliso Creek. It was on that downward slope that I stopped quick, fast and in a hurry. Another lady on the other side was also frozen in her tracks.
There IT was. Perched on a split-rail fence. A tall, grayish-blue, full-length heron. In seven years, this sighting was a first.
Slowly, slowly…I inched closer.
One by one, other walkers also stopped to gaze in awe.
Ta-da! My phone! Out of the pocket, I focused in. Click. Another click. Another. Then, I just watched. Observed. Took it all in.
This creature of nature had stopped everyone. Dogs didn’t bark. People didn’t talk. All eyes were fixated on the wondrous bird.
When IT decided to leave, the take off was smooth, wingspan wide. Breathtaking, indeed.
People didn’t move right away. Still taking it all in. Slowly, we shifted from our positions, expressed appreciation for what we just witnessed. It was a joy for me to send the photos to those who asked for them.
And then we went our separate ways.
So, why does it get more magical the more I think about it? In part because I worked for Orange County Human Relations, an organization devoted to helping people build bridges of understanding through respect and finding common ground. While I am not discounting their great work, it takes a lot of money, staff and time to implement effective programs. Yet, on a Friday afternoon, a Blue Heron accomplished their mission without saying a word or doing a thing.
Mother Nature and the Animal Kingdom have a way of bringing people together in simple, yet powerful ways. Same with music and sports. These experiences seem to unify us if only for moments. I had no idea what ethnicity or religion anyone was, nor their political affiliation or anything else that for some might be the cause for caution or distrust in other situations. It didn’t matter. In this moment, we were together in oneness observing the treasured gift of the heron’s presence.
As I write this, not sure I did the moment justice. Sometimes it’s just hard to put feelings and reflections into words, even for a writer.
That’s when you know it was truly magical. Yes it was…and it still is.