At twelve years old, I decided that riding my bike to the church on Sunday to find God was just not for me.
One Sunday, I lashed on my fishing pole and headed for Duck Creek instead – in the rain.
I ploughed through thick brush to the large willow tree that guarded the best spot in the creek for both the swimming and fishing.
As I crept up to the creek, now swelled to five times its normal width, I felt his eyes. Just to the other side of the willow, still as a tree himself, the Great Blue Heron stared at me.
I stared back. He was huge, magnificent, noble. My heart pounded in his presence.
Five minutes or five hours or an eternity passed. And just once, he blinked and turned his head slightly.
At that moment I felt it. The bigness. The peace beyond words. All that stuff that poets strain to capture. I found what I had been looking for those other Sundays.
And with a slow, heavy beat, the Great Blue waved farewell with a six- foot wingspan and left me in tears of gratitude.
It was much later in life that I found the words that best described this experience. Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
God enters by a private door into every individual.
I would see the Great Blue Heron again and again in my life. It seemed that whenever I needed a reminder, he would fly across my horizon or post himself in a field that I was passing by.
Everything I write about comes to me in much the same way as that bird did; as a gift, a gift which it is my honor to share.
I look forward to sharing with you and hearing from you.
With deep regard,