The slowly moving river is somehow soothing to my busy heart. I mean there’s so much rattling around in my soul that it’s often hard for me to hear anything else, especially in the early morning. The latest family issue, for example, beats a snare drum for my attention along with an annoying commercial that I heard last night, an ear-worm melody of commerce. Then, there’s always my incessant haggling with myself about what the tasks are going to be for the day.
Now as dawn spreads across this morning’s cloudy sky, I look out on the smooth-flowing river with it’s soft surface currents and it calms the noise within me. I am slowly soothed and soon in reverie.
When I go down to the river, it always seems to focus my attention on something more important than the busyness in my heart because within that soft scene something graceful usually happens.
This morning a large dusky looking bird grabs my attention cawing and gurgling as it flies from the far side of the river to my side. It stands on it’s long narrow legs a hundred feet from me. Although it’s dawn as yet nothing of the sun shines on the bird. I can see form, but no colors and with birds God has made sure to use his pallet generously with all kinds and blends of color which distinguish one species from another..
I’ll have to wait for more light to identify this critter. After a minute or so, another flies across the river and lands about stone’s throw from the first one. A few minutes later a third comes croaking across the river. They each have their posts fifty feet from one an0ther.
Five minutes and more light later, I see they are a Great Blue Herons. I think, then, about the third one, a menage a trois? What’s this spare bird doing butting in on a couple, encroaching on these birds territories? They stand in the shallows of the river as the main current flows by. Tall, with a deep curve of the neck, they wait for stray fish, an inattentive frog, or a listless crab. (Yes, we have river crabs.).
Something like grace flows into my heart when I go down to the river, like today when I watch the herons move slowly, nice and easily about the business of life.