For a variety of reasons, I’ve been contemplating archetypes – especially those about aging. This post is about some of this reflection:
Once upon a time, I thought winter would bundle me in purple, like the lady who would wear purple when she was old. Old, though, is always just a few years more than your current age. On the first snow of the season, I paused to think about my life and future. Who should appear at the back pond’s edge but the Great Blue Heron, bundled in her grey blue plumage hunched to hold her stance against the brutal wind.
This was the first time, I had observed the Heron in the snow. She may have been there before many times, but this is the first I noticed her. The first time I really saw her was on a Spring day a few years before. Over the years, she appears at interesting times in my life. She presented herself so often that I began to note her character. A few weeks ago, I wrote this short poem and realized, purple is a lovely color to wear whether you are old or not, but as I grow older, I wish to cultivate the character of the majestic heron!
My Archetype – The Great Blue Heron
She glides to the pond’s edge aware of her surroundings.
Calm and focused. Her deliberate slow breath connects to the watery surroundings as if willing the ice to melt. She knows nourishment lies beneath the surface. She spies the crack in the surface.
From a place of stillness, she dives in to take what she wants. There is no hesitation as she expects success. Although she misses, she persists. Stiller she becomes, more alert, deeper focus and then the dive. Success!
She raises her head in triumph as she swallows the juicy morsel. Slowly, she moves to another spot. Deliberately lifting legs high, quietly she seeks another treasure. Pausing, back to stillness.
Against the snow, she is an independent solitary shadow with feet firmly grounded as she breaths in her surroundings.
With grace and dignity, she stalks the perimeter. Each silent tread connecting her to the Earth. Alert and ready for flight as she notes red fox peering out from the nearby woods.
With complete awareness and no fear, she takes one more plunge and scores another tasty bite. Red fox ventures forward. He is of no consequence. She stills and gently with barely a sound, lifts off flying above the trees where red fox hides.
The land, wind, and air hushed absorbing the magic of her visit.