Walking, Eagles and Herons

Greenlake, here in my neck of the woods, is one of my favorite spots to walk my dog, Libby.  I’ve had to take some time off of running due to an inflamed tendon so have been outside walking as often as possible.  In the past 2 weeks I’ve seen eagles 4 times. Last week I saw eagles 3 times and 2 of those times they were swooping, diving and catching fish from the lake. I haven’t seen that before. It was spectacular and stopped me in my tracks. Eagles speak to me of Gods’ presence in my life and symbolize healing, illumination of spirit, the beauty of creation, and their presence gifts my soul with a quiet assurance of peace and strength. Yesterday, while walking the lake with a friend,  3 herons came across our path as well as an eagle, perched patiently on a branch high in a tree above. Eagles catch my attention, but now herons? and 3 of them? The first heron we saw was standing solitary and sergeant like on a branch low at the bank of the lake, when suddenly, it stretched its wings, flew upward and let out a squawking, duck and goose like sound. That’s the first time I think I’ve heard a herons call. What might she be saying? I believe that animals  have spiritually contemplative things to tell us. As we continued walking we saw herons 2 more times (perhaps it was the same one?) and after the third sighting I looked up and there, waiting perched on a tree branch was a lone eagle, silently surveying the lake.

My friend went home and researched the spiritual significance of these 2 birds. (Probably one of the many reasons we’re pals is because of our love for all things contemplatively spiritual and a little ‘kooky’ that have to do with soulful moments, animals, paying attention to dreams, etc). Ted Andrews, author of Animal Speak, writes that herons are a symbol of self-reliance and self-determination and offer us the encouragement to follow our own path and innate wisdom. Well, now, fancy that! This animal encounter nudged and encouraged her to follow up with a writing project that has been percolating and simmering within. As for me, it prompted me to write this post, reflect, and ponder, and stirred within me yet again a deep thankfulness for this life that I have been granted. It also reminded me yet again of how being outdoors helps me to stay rooted and grounded and not get carried away by the holiday seasons cultural hustle and bustle.  I’m not certain of where this will lead, but that’s ok. Both herons and eagles, along with my canine and human friends will continue to accompany and surround me as I seek to listen and follow my hearts leading. This holiday season, with all of its emotional highs and lows may you be granted moments of soul filling delight that encourage, strengthen and grant you wisdom and peace.

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