This morning when I was on my short walk as my alarm did not go off, I heard a great and wonderful noise. I looked up and was in time to catch my heron soaring overhead. I rarely hear the Great Blue…only see it standing majestically in the marshy area near my lake. It stands, rather prehistorically, and always alone very early in the mornings. I suspect it’s waiting to catch something. Although once I happened to see it take flight and land on the end of a dock, while another time I saw it crossing the road! That was a sight!
The book, “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews which gives insights about animal totems, talks about herons. And on this particular morning, since the heron called out to me, I decided to pull the book out and see what it said about this mysterious and solo bird.
There were a few particular points that jumped out at me at this juncture in my life.
“The long thin legs of the heron reflect that you don’t need great massive pillars to remain stable, but you must be able to stand on your own.” As many of my blogging followers know, I have taken up yoga recently. I’m not a big person by any means. I feel like the balance stance you may see a heron standing poised on one leg is much like the asanas in yoga I try to achieve. And of course, I am learning spiritually to stand on my own also, which the yoga is helping me with too.
“Heron do not seem to need a lot of people in their life, nor do they feel pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ or be traditional in their life roles.’ As life rolls on for me, I seem to shed more and more people. Some purposely, some are leaving as they grow up and need to leave. But either way, my life becomes more and more solitary. This is really by choice and I find most have a hard time accepting this choice. Couples feel everyone is destined to be a couple and can’t understand why someone would want to be alone. But my life has basically been that way on some levels since birth. And it’s a path that feels comfortable. And I’ve certainly never been traditional!
Speaking about the Great Blue….”It reflects a need for those with this totem to follow their own innate wisdom and path of self-determination.” And now, this is exactly what I am doing. I have made huge changes recently. Inside and out. And apparently these changes are quite apparent to all that come in contact with me.
Of course the outward changes are obvious. For instance, I used to color my hair with henna. It was very bright red. And then I decided a few months ago, I didn’t want to do it anymore. I knew it was coming in gray. But I was tired of coloring it so frequently: the time, the effort–plus I just wanted to be ME. Many people begged me not to do, but I had ‘self determination’ and began the process.
It was pretty brutal!. For a while I was going through this awful stage of being partly red, partly gray. But I had many supporters cheering me on! Of course I also had guys at the fire department calling me names. But I was undaunted. So then a couple of weeks ago, I decided I had enough and went to a beauty shop and said: take the red off! And so, she chopped my hair very short!
My hair had been very long just 6 years ago, and reddish and straight. Then it got shorter, curlier (naturally), and very red! Now it’s totally short, gray and very wavy! Even my daughters didn’t recognize me! It was quite fun. I’ve had every reaction from people disliking it to people falling in love with me! Most are telling me I look younger now! This is a surprise given I’m SO gray.
But today I think my friend explained it all: he said, “Now we can see the real YOU. You’re no longer hidden behind all that fake red hair.” But I feel like it’s much more than that–I feel as though what people are also seeing is my inner light. It’s finally glowing bright. The yoga, the peace, the inner joy that I’m finally getting a handle on is starting to pierce its way through. Before I needed to light myself from the outside, now it comes from within!
So I take all the compliments and I take the heron’s greeting this morning and I keep them all in my heart. All these sounds are good and vibrate positively in my soul. I’ll continue to keep my ears open to see what else the Great Blue has to say to me in the future and continue to use the heron wisdom when I need it.