The Blue Heron

“According to North American Native tradition, the Blue Heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance. Blue Herons reflect a need for those with this totem to follow their own unique wisdom and path of self-determination. These individuals know what is best for themselves and need to follow their hearts rather than the promptings of others. Those with the Medicine of the Great Blue Heron may sit until the rest of us lose patience. And, when they follow the promptings of the heart, they are one of the most magnificent when they choose to soar.”
(Courtesy of Blue Heron Environmental)
DSCN1848-001(c)2013 HLamb

     Those who know me, know the wonder I find in subtle signs I receive from Spirit. Throughout the past several months, I have been on a journey of self awareness and seeking my truths. As my awareness continues to awaken, the frequency of occurrences from Spirit have increased as well, serving as gentle guidance and encouragement that I am on the right path, and to keep onward despite hardships.

     One of these signs, have been recent sightings of the Blue Heron. Blue Herons are a Native American totem animal symbolizing self-reflection. They stand for hours at water’s edge, motionless, gazing into the mirrored water waiting patiently for the right moment. Every movement calculated, their timing impeccable. Majestic and graceful, they seem to defy gravity in flight. To see one airborne leaves amazement at its possibility. The massive wingspan effortlessly and magically supports the heron’s grossly disproportionate body.  

     The trail I frequent follows alongside a river and a few small lakes which serve as an animal sanctuary. I have been allowed the pleasure of seeing everything from bald eagles, to coyotes, to recently the Blue Heron. This past month, I have seen a Blue Heron on almost every run. They are extremely elusive birds and will fly at any sign of impending threat. I have wanted to get close enough so I could see one, but they always take off long before I approach.

     Three weeks ago, I noticed a heron standing stoically at the water’s edge. My path was due to cross his in approximately twenty yards and I was certain he would take flight any moment. My eyes affixed on him. I asked him to stay so I could admire his beauty and to not be scared. I was of no harm. His head turned slightly from the water’s edge to the direction I was heading. He had seen me. Any minute now he would bolt. I kept getting closer and closer, my heart beating faster and faster. I could begin to see his beautiful detail. Long flowing feathers cascaded down to the base of his neck. His piercing golden eyes locked onto me. His back leg bent ever so slightly, ready to propel him into flight. Finally, once directly behind him, I slowed my run to a jog. Watching with intent gaze, his head slowly rotated as I passed. He did not fly! I was in utter disbelief and amazement at the beauty of the entire experience. For several feet, I turned my head to see if he was still there. His eyes stayed on me until I was out of sight. That encounter stuck with me. I couldn’t ignore the symbolism of the event, but at the time I didn’t understand it either.

     A week after the incident on the running trail, we left to visit my parents in Oregon. They have a home on the Mckenzie River and the view is enough to not only take your breath away, but make you stop and breathe in the beauty of the surroundings. My stepfather had mentioned he had spotted a Blue Heron on the river’s edge a few days prior. The possibility of being able to capture one with my camera brought immediate excitement.

     During our visit, I had the unwelcomed pleasure of my ex, once again, trying to engage me in a power battle over one of our boys. My pattern with him has always been one of submission and surrender, justified by excuses of not wanting to rock the boat. This issue in particular, I felt incredibly strong about and I knew the consequences of me “rolling over” could lend to a potential life changing disaster. Even though my heart felt strong and determined, my human ego wanted to cower and give in. I began to doubt myself. In moments I went from being strong with conviction, to not trusting if what I knew was right.

     Early the next morning, after a night of sleeplessness, I grabbed my over sized cup of coffee and headed down to the river. Maybe I could catch a glimpse of the elusive Blue Heron. I climbed up into the hammock swing and scanned the shoreline for any sign of him. Nothing. I began to let my mind wander about the struggles I was embroiled in and tried to formulate a plan on how to proceed. My mind felt so uncertain and full of doubt that I began to question everything. I knew in my heart what I needed to do, but my head kept distracting me from listening to it.

     I could hear the rumblings of family awakening at the house and knew my solitude was about to come to an end. I skimmed the river bank once more, looking for the heron as I thought, “I wish I could have seen that Blue Her….” Suddenly, before the thought could finish, a heron jetted out from the brush covered bank,  just feet to the left of where I was sitting! He perched on a rock directly across the river facing me, paused for a few seconds, then continued on down river. I was breathless. He had quietly been just feet away from me the entire time!

     Coincidence? Maybe. But having two episodes so close together seemed no doubt to be a sign from Spirit. It confirmed what I had known all along. I needed to listen to my heart and my truths. Having that validation gave me the courage to remain strong in a situation I normally would have crumbled in. I was able to assert myself, calmly and directly. I did not back down, though tempted when the personal attacks started flying. For the first time in 20 years, I was able to break the invisible thread of power and control I had allowed to silence me in times past.

     After many failed attempts of trying to capture my own image of these majestic creatures, I was blessed yet again with an opportunity, which resulted in the photo above, taken a few days later at the coast.

What are some of the ways Spirit tries to get your attention? Do you listen, or do you let your head drown out what your heart is trying to say?

Love & Light


~ by Heather on August 17, 2013.

4 Responses to “The Blue Heron”

  1. Heather, I loved The Blue Heron – Just beautiful. Janelle


  2. Excellent and inspiring post with such a good reminder to all! 🙂


  3. Thank you Patrick! It was a great reminder to me as well to slow down and listen 🙂


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