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Why a Heron?

The last question in the current "pile" is one from sequoia about out "Heron" totem.  She writes:

Why the heron? Beautiful water bird.... but I often (change that: sometimes) wonder why it was chosen as your moniker? 

When we first "met," it was online.  We were members of the same listserv, 1HouseholdDiscipline, and our conversations there led to deeper and closer ties over a period of time.  When we began, I lived in a northern suburb of Denver, Colorado.  I grew up in the west, and most of my experience of the world is from that arid, high plains environment.  I grew up in a world that was occupied by blue jays and magpies and meadowlarks and hawks and eagles.  There were no herons that I ever saw, living in the Rocky Mountains.

Moving to Cincinnati, I found myself in a totally different world.  It rains here.  A lot.  There are four recognizable seasons here.  It is not at all like Colorado where we used to joke that there were only two seasons:  winter and company.  There's a lot of naturally occurring water here; lots of ponds and lakes and rivers.  And, there are great blue herons here for a good part of the year.  They often don't leave us until close to the end of November, and if the winter is fairly mild, they can return in the middle of February.

When I first came here, the appearance of a heron, standing majestically at the edge of the water, seemed magical and mystical.  Too, it seemed to me that at every major juncture of our transition from online acquaintances to friends to play partners to lovers to family, the herons would always appear.  I will swear that the herons come to us whenever we are worried or frustrated or frightened or just uncertain of the path to follow.  They land on the pond outside our doors, and they stand there, and they stare in through our windows until we see them, take note, and say to each other, "Oh look, a heron..."  Then, most often, the heron watcher will lift into the sky on those stretched out wings, and circle away into the blue.  It may not be any sort of magic, but it simply feels to us like the herons watch over us, and empower us, and cheer us on as we travel through this world together.  We've come to believe that, for us, herons hold some sort of power.

And that is the story of why we are "The Heron Clan."


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for telling that story, I had wondered as well. And I love the reason, and the way the herons appear, them watching over you, and you watching them. Nice.

    I laughed at the idea of you having 2 seasons in Colorado. Our 2 seasons here are Winter and Construction.



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