August 17, 2014

Sunday - Saying Yes to the World

I sat one summer evening and watched a great blue heron make his descent from the top of the hill into the valley. He came down at a measured deliberate pace, stately as always, like a dignitary going down a stair. And then, at a point I judged to be midway over the river, without at all varying his wing beat he did a backward turn in the air, a loop-the-loop. It could only have been a gesture of pure exuberance, of joy, speaking of his sense of the evening, the day's fulfillment, his descent homeward. He made just that one slow turn, and then flew on out of sight in the direction of the slew farther down in the bottom. The movement was incredibly beautiful, at once exultant and stately, a benediction on the evening and on the river and on me. It seemed so perfectly to confirm the presence of a free nonhuman joy in the world.
Wendell Berry

3 comments:

Tabor said...

This reminds me of a swimming move a very large sting ray made in the South Pacific lagoon waters as I was sitting in a boat and looking down.

Pienosole said...

What a wonderful image! Wishing you joy on this Sunday.

kerrdelune said...

Both rays and herons are elegant predators, Tabor. When my heron flew overhead, it gave me goosebumps - a mature great blue heron has a formidable beak and a wingspan of almost seven feet.