The other day a blue heron landed on my back wall. This bird does not live in my part of the desert he clearly wanted me to see him. His neck was so long and his wingspan far and sheltering, this bird held a presence of power that I had not experienced all that many times. In my inquiry to discover the meaning of this sighting, I was led back to the center of the lake.
The blue heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance. It affirms my desire and yearning to progress, and to evolve. As thin and fragile their legs appear, they hold up the heron’s body with great strength. This bird has endless faith and patience and is willing to wait for its rewards.
From what I have gathered in my personal conversations with fellow “searchers,” the heron is believed to link two worlds: the waters of life—the unconscious, and the air—the realm of the conscious mind. He feeds on fishes, which symbolize the treasures of the unconscious mind: spiritual nourishment for the seeker. The heron’s long legs enable them to stand in the great deep waters of the unconscious. This bird brings me a message that there is treasure for me in my unconscious, dreaming, creative space.
Last night while sitting alone in my kitchen I lit the last of a candle and carried on with the business of my reading and studying. Lost in thought I was jarred back to reality by a strange trickling sound and then realized the candle was spilling, drizzling wax out of its side and down to the tabletop. In the effort to correct the imbalance in the candle, I ran to my studio to find a piece of cardboard or something to put under the lower side. My rummaging led me from drawer to drawer in my flat file, when a large green book stuffed in the back caught my eye. Something from very long ago, late 1970s perhaps? Something that had somehow escaped my ruthless cleaning jaunts and remained intact at the back of my paper drawer, an old journal/sketchbook. Forgetting my original mission I opened the book and found it contained more forgotten things, writings, paintings, drawings, and memories nearly extinguished. The paper was yellowed and crumbly, I carefully paged through. There before me on the pages were studies of a great blue heron. There are one in pencil and two in watercolor. Now as I type, I realize they were the original studies for a painting on the wall in my office just to my right. There all along . . .that heron. I just had forgotten and stopped seeing. The sound of the candle led me to a fault line, a treasure trove of fault lines by way of an unusual sound, an unplanned journey to a corner of my life I had not visited in a very long time.
Exploring each vein, each crack that pushed me through art and images by way of luscious engagement with water, paint, paper, pigment, brush and self offers a vague understanding of how Providence, or creative spirit maneuvered us, as that candle led me to that open channel of knowing. A fitting place to begin my own journey back to many moments as an artist where life cracked and dislodged, and the fault lines made way for the waters.