It’s a busy morning in the marsh. A sandpiper rushes across a stretch of sea-smoothed stones. If only we could make such sweet piping sounds as we take off in flight to meet our deadlines, Mondays wouldn’t be so bad.
Crabs are sparring with one another just beneath the water’s surface. The disagreement is over almost as quickly as it’s started, and they respectfully move to their territorial rocks. Look at all those little fish. Surely there’s enough for everyone to share.
Mergansers have already had breakfast and are determined to stay close and tight as they move quickly to their next destination. There are only three young ones left in a brood that might have had eight or more to start with. Things don’t always work out as planned, but it’s important to move forward and make the most of the day ahead.
A great blue heron wrestles with a long fish. The bird twists its snake-like neck and turns its head upside down in order to get a better grip. It could certainly teach us a thing or two on the value of being results-oriented. Sensing that I am getting much too close for comfort, it takes off with its meal in flight.
The heron below also takes off as I draw near. The sandpiper wading nearby doesn’t mind its ominous silhouette. It knows that things usually aren’t as scary and threatening as they might appear at first.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
~ Wendell Berry