Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Heron

Probably two years ago, I was driving from my house somewhere, I forget where. There's a patch of land between where we live and the shortest route to the main road in Lexington that used to be home to a boarding stable for horses, but for the past couple of years or so, its been vacant space.  I've seen deer in the area at dawn and dusk, so I drive slowly. On this particular day, I was driving slow and looking around, and that's when I saw it. A tall blue heron stood alone in that field.  The inquisitive side of me always loves seeing rare things; I wake up in the middle of the night for meteor showers, I stop to take a closer look at odd bugs and critters, and I loved seeing this heron. In fact, I had to google to be sure it WAS a heron. I drove slowly by, not wanting to startle it, and just stared. I got home and immediately shared what I saw with Marty, who doesn't share my fascination with all things unique, and he nodded and smiled, humoring my childish excitability, and that was it.

Probably a month later, I saw the heron in the same place. Again, I drove slowly and took it in. I was happy to see him back in the same place, glad to know he was still around. Since that day over two years ago, I've seen this heron probably ten more times. Sometimes I see him a few times a month, sometimes I go months and months without seeing him. Two years have gone by, and still I see the heron.  I saw him again for the first time in a long time last week. He has gotten bigger, seemed even more blue and more beautiful.

That heron has come to mean more to me than just seeing a bird in a field.  His continuous presence here represents stability, I think, a reminder that regardless of what comes and goes, nature exists, the world keeps spinning on its axis.  Since I first saw him, Marty has almost died once and been critically ill twice, I lost several family members, my child received an autism diagnosis. I lost beloved pets, gained a new beloved pet, made new friends and watched best friends move away. And still, the heron shows up. Things change, and they don't, and regardless, life must go on.

Every time I see him, I immediately text Marty, who is always happy because I'm happy. And I'm always immediately grateful that I CAN text Marty, that he made it through everything that happened to him the past two years and despite all of the adversity, we have two fantastic kids, the absolute best dog, and wonderful family. He's more than just a heron. He's my reminder to take nothing for granted, and at the same time, to accept what is, because we must go on.

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