A heron and her secrets of contemplation

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Strolling home, instead of worrying about distressing thoughts I admired mountains in the distance while taking in the clear air. Even with some cars passing by the surroundings were still. Mountain is a great pointer to God as it rests peacefully where the valleys are busy attending to all the work that needs to be done. These mountains remind me of the film ‘Into Great Silence’ and just one glance at them can still my soul. I walked into the silence that was spreading inside me and took in all the beauty I could see. As I neared the last part of this short journey, I decided to go near the river, and take more scenic rather than quickest road. Dodder slowly rushed next to me, with its new turns and waves as I walked. It reflected autumn; colours of a few remaining leaves on the nearby trees were giving it a warm shade.

I came to the stony bridge, little hill on my left whispering of brighter days to come. I stood for a while gazing into the slow motion of the river, and there I saw it, a heron standing still. How magnificent! This bird knows secrets of meditation and contemplation as it always is so still. Its feathers composed, while in the shallow waters it stood still, I thought of God watching it. Does He watch at you or me thinking that we too carry a special secret in our posture? I admired it happily for a while until the most unexpected occurrence played itself before my eyes. This ‘holy’ bird moved forward, I thought it would fly, but it tripped and splashed into the water high and wide leaving me in utter surprise. Poor heron composed herself quickly looking quite confused, while on the contrary I was left amused. This ‘holy bird’ that holds secrets of contemplation tripped! Oh don’t we too, no matter what profound secrets we might carry inside we stumble and trip and God still looks at us with love.

I left the scene with a smile, grateful for knowing that even birds stumble at times before flight. The heron tripping looked quite cute, so why do we so often feel we should be perfect in all we do? I walked home over the hill, soft grass being the carpet to my thoughts. We don’t know what tomorrow brings but perhaps let’s try not to worry. God knows all that we are, both profound and frail twists of our character. Even if we trip at times, so be it, it may only ground us to come back to what is essential, and to compose all that is in us to admire God in contemplation, within our soul.

© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 27th November 2009)
Photo by © Iva B.

 

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