Saturday, December 1, 2012

Snow Falling and Night Falling Fast

The other day we had gently falling snow.  I was driving by the pond and slowed down, as I usually do when going by there -- checking to see if the heron is hanging out.  And sure enough, yes!  There she is.

So I stop and back up.  I'm guessing this alone will cause her to up and fly away.  But it seems she could care less.  I open the window for a close-up view.

This is a different heron. She's beige, perched on a fallen branch, level with the water.  Her webbed feet rest on the snow-encrusted limb. She's hunched,  accumulating snow on her shoulders.  Her feathers are  a tawny blend of bone white and light brown.  The coloring above her eyes is a shade darker than below.  Her beak is long, yellow and sharp.

I take out my phone to try and get a picture, but I have what I refer to as an antique cell phone.  The kind you flip open.  It takes an extremely LAME photo of this magnificent bird.  She looks like a little speck in a lovely curtain of softly falling snow.  The snowfall is so perfect it looks like a movie backdrop, something out of White Christmas.

I've always thought of these  lazily falling snowflakes as blessings from the sky.  Accumulating on our shoulders.  This recalls my essay, The Blessings of Breast Cancer (an Unlikely Title, I know). It was just published in The Door Opener, our regional magazine for healers and holistic practitioners. So I've been hearing from friends, applauding my account of how even the most frightening experiences can yield blessings.

I'm overcome with a deep sense of  gratitude.  2012 has been a tumultuous year to say the least, and yet blessings abound.  We are in the midst of a great awakening -- the end of an epoch and the birth of  a new humanity of oneness and compassion.  These ideals are hard to practice in everyday life where the tension of what's unsustainable is mounting. What's no longer working is inviting change -- that mysterious unknown we're so frightened of.

Ushering in a new self or a  new  world -- it all seems possible in quiet moments like these.  In the hush of the  snowfall, peace descends.

I need to get home.  Like a ghost, the heron seems to fade into the gathering dusk.  I think of that line from Robert Frost:  snow falling and night falling fast.

She seems content to remain in her meditative stance, gathering blessings.

P.S. You can find my essay on line at  The December issue is due out any moment.  Thank you Dory for this wonderful resource!

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