My morning began gazing at the tranquil waters of Michigan's Torch Lake named by the Ojibwa tribe who once used torches at night to lure the fish into their nets. The newly risen sun seduced my attention casting ribbons of color upon the placid surface soothing my soul. My mesmerizing was gently lifted by a slight movement to the right of my focus. Blending into the nearby tall trees stood a regal and majestic blue heron.
The heron looked my way beguilingly as if sensing my observation. Our stare lasted moments until its eyes returned to the lake and temptings of future breakfast. If you have never seen this stunning creature in person, they elicit an immediate grace and stillness. The physical architecture of a heron's long neck and large oval-shaped body seem almost antithetical to flight. As if my internal pondering were heard by the heron, he glanced my way one last time before unfurling his 6-foot wing span and flying effortlessly into the middle of the visible sun disappearing from view.
Revered in Christianity, herons symbolized long life and luck. In Native American traditions, they remind us to be self-reliant and disciplined with our determination to foster personal growth. In Celtic traditions, they encourage the cultivation of contentment.
What I gleaned from our encounter was the power of witnessing. As this creature stood patiently surveying the shore for sustenance, it blended so beautifully into the environment. Nothing around was disturbed or interrupted by its presence. He had become what was surrounding him.
How was I blending with my surroundings?
I sought to weave this wisdom into the fabric of my day. I indulged in equal moments of silence and observation, but I actively sought to gift that personal discovery space to those with who I was spending time.
We all recharge best when we are allowed time to disengage from the circumstances of our lives and simply indulge our own desires. After all, our soul is here to gift this world with a particular magic. Those shared moments with others are incredibly valuable. However, equal in depth are the moments we have with ourselves.
I found great enjoyment simply listening deeply to others, giving them my full attention. When my internal opinions or objections demanded an audience, I simply listened with even more depth. That simple shift deepened my connections and built new bridges of trust.
Detachment from our thoughts and beliefs offers an amazing opportunity to listen differently. Within the silence, the whisperings of the Universe can escort us into a new level of becoming.
Between word and thought lay the wisdom of silence.