In the morning the blue heron is busy
stepping, slowly, around the edge of the
pond. He is tall and shining. His wings, folded
against his body, fit so neatly they
make of him, when he lifts his shoulders and begins to rise
into the air, a great surprise. Also
he carries so light the terrible sword-beak. Then
he is gone over the trees.
I am so happy to be alive in this world
I would like to live forever, but I am
content not to. Seeing what I have seen
has filled me; believing what I believe
has filled me.
The first words of this page are
hardly thought of when the bird
circles back over the trees; it floats down
like an armful of blue flowers, a bundle of light
coming to refresh itself again in the black water, and I think:
maybe it is or it isn't the same bird-maybe it's
the first one's child, or the child of its child.
What I mean is, our deliverance from Time
and the continuance, if we only steward them well,
of earthly things. So maybe it's myself still standing here, or
someone else, like myself hot with the joy of this world, and
filled with praise.
Yesterday a young coyote walked across our lawn in the ripening dawn. Along the way to kayak the Suwannee, families of turkeys and deer adorned the highways, as did one lone feral pig. In the water one gator swam under our boats and mighty sturgeons jumped to our joy nearby. Juvenile Red-shouldered hawks and immature Little Blue Herons Herons kept closer to us on the banks than their parents would have, and on the way back, a raccoon scampered in front of my speeding car, closer to me than s/he should have been. So maybe it's myself writing to you this morning, or the gator, or the turkey, or the coyote - our very being a joy of this world worthy of incessant praise.
What would you do differently if you lived forever?