Friday, June 10, 2011

Lessons from Herons . . .

I have so much to learn from this Great Blue Heron (I do think it's worth clicking to enlarge -- your heartrate will slow immediately, I promise). Patiently, watchfully, quietly, he waits and waits, completely "in the moment," concentrating only on what matters immediately, never minding the busy-ness just offshore.

Me, on the other hand . . .
Whew! This week has been so busy, trying to get my book orders in for next term (which, means sorting through, reading snitches of, e-mailing colleagues for recommendations, etc., etc.,); weeding and pruning in the garden, exasperated with its jungle-y state; running myself back into a routine (3 8k runs this week, my long run still ahead -- they take time, you know?); a bit of shopping; a stack of reading -- new prep for the fall term; all the usual suspects, housework-wise; two dinners with friends -- one a casual, impromptu event evolving from a glass of wine in the backyard to a 3-hours-later culmination in Pater's flambéed bananas, the other dinner out with a GF/colleague, both v. enjoyable, but also big time-chompers.

Today I'm packing up for Vancouver where I'm thrilled to be included in tomorrow's Bachelorette activities for my daughter the soon-to-be bride. I can't share yet, as the planned activities are to be a surprise for Megan, but it's going to be serious fun. . . there will be photos, I promise.

And I'm fretting. Fretting. And fretting some more. All the work I have to get done. My impatience with my procrastinating self or, more properly, my self who has other things to do besides work-oriented work, my self who knows life only comes by the one time. Balance, always striving for balance. My Heron model out there on the shore is a marvel on one leg, having the balance thing down pat. Of course, had I only to look after food, I could probably manage.

Still, just looking at the photo reminds me, slows me down, encourages me to breathe deeply.

Until I think of driving off the ferry this afternoon, across the Lions Gate Bridge, and right into the downtown where those fans who aren't lucky enough to have seats at the game will be crowded around the screens at one of several large squares. Apparently, Georgia Street will be shut down completely.  I'm thinking it's a perfect time to practice my heron skills. I'll bring along a CD or two and work on my patience, moving along at whatever pace the traffic allows.  Hope you can start your weekend off gently as well. Any plans?


  1. Have a wonderful time at the bachelorette party!

    For behind-the-wheel decompressing in traffic, the local non-commercial classical music station works wonders.

    When I live on a moored sailboat in Central California, I spent *hours* just sitting up on deck with a mug of coffee in hand and watching the herons and other sea birds (and the occasional otter). It was so wonderfully restorative.

  2. I don't need to enlarge to feel the calm-down! What a beautiful photo. And have a terrific time with your daughter this weekend. I will be knitting and copying a T shirt to make a pattern for my husband (birthday coming up). I hope I can maintain the serenity of our bird friend.

  3. I seem to have been crazy busy at work and at home lately too. This weekend I'm getting four six week old kittens. Their feral mother is being spayd and returned to the wilds of Toronto, so the kittens are all mine to look after and socialize.

    Go with the flow in the traffic and enjoy your party.

  4. Enjoy the party and your weekend....and remember to
    B R E A T H E .......
    My husband leaves on Sunday for a week of business in
    Vancouver and wish I could join him...perhaps next trip.

  5. The heron is a perfect example--until he captures a fish and swallows at one gulp.

    When my life gets like this, I try just to put one foot in front of the other. Sounds like you have immediate fun to look forward to.

  6. Pseu: Actually, I ended up listening to the pre-game talk, not good for calming down but it certainly helped pass the time!
    K: I haven't noticed patience with yourself to be an outstanding virtue of yours, but you certainly have the heron's devotion to a task . . . hope the sewing and knitting go well.
    NM: Despite the craziness they might bring to the household, I can see kittens being good for some de-stressing. So much cuteness you do tend to just get in the moment with them.
    Terri: It's true that there are those other metaphoric possibilities with herons -- the way they suddenly spear that fish and then gulp it all down at once.

    Yes, one foot in front of the other is a good approach, as long as we can make it not feel too much like trudging. Tomorrow I'll practically be skipping with the fun!

  7. Things are really ratcheting up for you, a real shift into impending work. Still, flambéed bananas after several hours of great company is a wonderful respite. I'd stand on one leg for that any time.

  8. Duchesse: It's true -- there are compensations!


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