Yesterday, I was sitting outside of my favorite coffee shop in the back corner of the patio. I was meeting with someone in regards to the future of my studio, when suddenly, a blue heron flew directly at me — beak open, talons spread. He grazed my shoulder. It felt like he tried to latch on, instead, landing behind me, finding a safe space between the table and the window. He stayed there for about fifteen minutes before deciding it was time to move on.
Of course, everyone on the patio was in awe. It’s not everyday a gorgeous blue heron dive bombs a coffee shop. Although the experience was unexpected, it didn’t surprise me (shit like that happens to me quite often. I don’t know why and I don’t question it).
I’ve had a few close interactions with herons over the past five years. I guess that would mean they are my “spirit animal,” so I decided it was time to understand what they represent. Herons are solitary creatures, self – reliant and determined. They know what they want and they usually get it when the time is right. The reason why they get what they want is that they know how to wait, how to be patient before they make a move.
According to an article I read, the heron possess the ability to exist in the “in – between,” in a space (as the author says) which is “neither here, nor there.” She described this state as being in the present, “in the NOW.”
I refer to this as the state of inaction, a state of patience, of internal planning while assuming a universal perspective (being able to see the whole).
It is a void filled with everything, just like the stage inside the chrysalid (when the caterpillar turns to fluid, rearranging its parts, preparing to grow and transform into a butterfly). What appears from the outside to be stagnation and inaction is actually the opposite. In inaction, the most important actions are taking place.
The heron’s arrival couldn’t have come at a better time. We were discussing this state of inaction — whether it is beneficial or harmful for our wellbeing.
In my experience, whenever I pause, I stop producing/outputting, so I can observe the workings of my environment from a peripheral vantage point. My route presents itself, and in turn, I prepare myself for my route by making the changes necessary to support my journey.
I may not see exactly where or what my destination is, but I see a safe trajectory, one that, although I am nervous to embark upon, I know is the right one.
This is the way of the heron — Still, stoic, observant, calculating, watching, waiting, pinpointing exactly what she wants and navigating her way to get there, without moving an inch. This state of inaction, of being in the “in – between” and the “NOW,” allows for one’s heart to marry one’s head, in order to make the right decision, while cultivating the changes necessary to spread her wings and fly into the future. ~Rebecca