‘We’ve been expecting you,’ the salt marsh sentinel announces from his roost at the top of the spruce. It’s the first time I’ve seen great blue herons perched high on the treetops. Though it all looks like business-as-usual in the marsh, there are always wonders waiting to be discovered. It’s good to be back.
‘We heard you’d been combing the beaches looking for us,’ the sea stars say collectively. ‘We thought if we gathered together in one spot, you’d know how much we missed you and you missed us. Why did it take so long for you to seek us here?’
‘It’s a long story,’ I tell them, ‘one with lots of drama that didn’t involve me but nevertheless took a toll on my days. Children suddenly needed me and caring for them took all of my energy.’
’Tell me about it,’ another heron adds. ‘We know what it takes to rear the next generation in an environment that seems more and more out of our control.’
‘I knew you’d understand,’ I tell them.
A kingfisher ‘s compact body finds a stable position at the end of a dried twig. I marvel at how expertly birds keep their bodies and lives in balance.
In spring and summer their focus is on ensuring that the young ones survive to maturity. No hardship or sacrifice seems too great as they provide sustenance and safety to the next generation. But then, after giving their all for a season, they quietly revert back to concerns for their own well-being. Could it be because they carry no burdens in their hearts that they are light enough to fly such long distances to warmer climes?
Thank you to all who sent emails or left kind comments asking where I was over the past few months. It is good to be back