This is Henrielle the Blue Heron who fishes by the Burquitlam Dam. I see her often when jogging around Burnaby Lake. Sometimes I see a different younger heron which, I’m guessing, is her offspring. The Dam is a good place to stretch stiff tendons, with access to a water pump nearby, and admire the river view in both directions.
The Burnaby Lake view of the outflow.
The great Blue Heron is my Spirit Animal. During the 90’s I went on a 10-day Vision Quest, praying, meditating, and fasting alone in Golden Years Park. At night I started to see the world through the eyes of a blue heron; basically the river bed through water patiently waiting for a fish to swim by.
At night I could also hear an owl and could imagine hearing its voice in the origins of native flute playing. I’ll wager that, in the past, owls have sung along to nocturnal native flute virtuosos just as North Shore natives used to add magic to the Wolf Spirit bedtime story by howling into the night to be met by a chorus of real wolf howls. One night, I heard an avalanche rumble through the valley knowing that I was likely the only human being who heard it.
The primary attribute of a blue heron is its stately patience. We all know that patience is a recurring lesson in our lives but how many know that, according to Edgar Cayce, it’s one of the three fundamental elements of the universe: 1. Space 2. Matter 3. Patience
Patience replaces Time in conventional thinking which, evidently, is all happening at once – something that’s difficult to comprehend for us in this slow, dense, apparently linear, cyclic form.
Herons don’t think about patience. They just do it in order to eat. They fly over our home between Burnaby Lake and Burrard Inlet twice a day according to wherever the tide offers the best fishing. This summer, Vicki and I, seated on our back deck, were treated, between humming bird visits, to the sight of a powerfully flapping heron, chased by smaller birds, rounding a nearby conifer in the park next door.
Earlier this summer, on a walk at Burnaby Lake, Vicki and I encountered “Bobby” the bobcat. He just sauntered on the trail away from us for a bit. Evidently he had been dining on a lot of goslings at that time so I was happy to see, recently, a brown rabbit cross the path near that same spot. The rabbits have been culled from our own neighbourhood by coyotes. Later, on that same walk, we came across a turtle trying to lay eggs. The sand has been too dry for laying eggs this year so there were conservationists nearby ready to take them away in a Rubbermaid bin.
Among the endorphins there are some interesting jogging states of mind that can be played with when out for a run. An old favorite is to imagine that you’re running in place and that the world is rolling around, matching your path, beneath you. Since the weather became nice enough for jogging this year I’ve been enjoying a new jogging mantra based on Cayce’s two primary Universal Laws; 1. We are One 2. We are Love
These can be used for different paces.
“We are one, step, we are love, step…”
“We are one, step, step, step, We are Love, step, step, step…”
or just “One” and holding the thought for as long as posible… Then “Love…”
or, running hard… …”One, Love, One, Love, One, Love…”
On one occasion, I was running up the very steep apex of a steep hill on Burnaby Mountain, imagining great angel wings, moving slightly in accord with my elbows, lifting me up, spreading my spine, my heart pounding… “ONE, step, LOVE, step, ONE, step LOVE…” with great elation at cresting the top. I don’t know what the metaphysical properties might be of such heart-felt profound all-encompassing emotion but, they’ve gotta be good.
While jogging the mantra tends to give way to other thoughts between thoughts, but, like meditation, when your mind wanders, it’s a good, even extraordinary, thought to keep returning to.
Just wanted to put it out there.