Back to Nature (Published on - July 12, 2006)
Great blue heron
Photo by Rick Tremmel
The great blue heron is a symbol of elegance and purpose.
There’s no counting on promises. There are no guarantees with the best laid plans. When we question the validity of any outcome we also face the futility of beginning. Standing still, marking time, watching the sun go down, we wish for tomorrows and grieve for yesterdays.

Accept each wave, listen with each heartbeat, step lightly in each sand footprint, making your own path. As if buried in the sand, unmovable, hands tied, robotic heads, inaction suspends time with myopic view. It makes it so easy to throw up one’s hands and say, “It’s too big and I am too small.”

By living in each moment, stepping each purposeful step, distance is navigated and solutions brought into being. Like the elegant heron silhouetted at sunset, undreaming, guiltless, purposefully waiting for darkness, rest is a blessing, necessary to begin another new day of possibilities … back to nature.

The great blue heron is one of the larger birds found in Florida standing nearly 4-feet tall (length of 38 to 46 inches and wing span of 70 to 72 inches).

Adults have a white crown. The face is marked with a black plume that extends from above the eye (appearing as a black stripe) to beyond the back of the head. The great blue heron is named for the bluish-gray feathers upon its back, wings and breast, appearing more gray than blue. The shoulder of this heron is black. The neck of the great blue heron appears a shaggy muted brown/buff where plumes stand out among the plumage on its long S-curve neck.

The great blue heron is found wherever there is shallow water, fresh, brackish and salt from Ontario to Florida, from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia to the Baha Peninsula. This heron’s diet includes: fish, frogs, reptiles, small birds and mammals. There is an all white form of this heron found in southern Florida: the great white heron. It can be identified and distinguished from the great egret, because the great white heron has yellowish legs.

Of evening mists and cooling breezes, amber strands of sun spun sugar-clouds, of gentle tides and purple shadows, of footprints disappearing with each wave, of moon rises and slate skies, of turtle furrows to the sea and sailboat lights listing upon the horizon, of heron silhouettes and sandpiper’ piping, of sideways dancing and crabby shuffles, of abandoned castles and flip flop dreams, coastal storms, lightning, thunder and drumming circles, feathers and shells, scales and skeletons, what once will never be yet, possibilities never cease, change is birth and death is a new beginning, poets and profits, preachers and teachers, gather your muse and predictions … let the global healing begin.

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of the reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.
“The Stolen Child” – William Butler Yeats

Karen can be reached at

Copyright © 2004-2017 Karen Mitchell Tremmel, All Rights Reserved.
All text in this site is original and copyrighted by the author, who writes for a living. Please do not reproduce in whole or part without permission, except for brief quotations covered under the "Fair Use" provision of U.S. copyright law. Thanks.