The Heron

In September I took part in an online challenge run by The Little Volcano coaching group. For the challenge, us participants were asked to choose a “sign” that we were on the right path with whatever it was in our lives we wanted to focus our energies on.

I chose the Heron as my sign that I chose the right path, the path of being a writer, persuing traditional publishing for my work.

I have a beautiful community lake near my home where I’ve walked almost every day since the pandemic started. I feel so blessed to have this ecosystem in my own backyard, where I can go and watch the ducks and move my body. I chose the Heron as my sign, because I had seen a heron there quite a few times, yet I hadn’t seen him in a while. I thought, he was a simple sign, but it wasn’t cheating since he wasn’t always around.

During the challenge I walked at the lake, hoping to see him everywhere and anywhere I looked, but he never materialized. I shrugged, knowing in my heart that I was on the right path. I didn’t necessarily need a “sign” to tell me that.

But more recently, I was having a rough week. The kind of week where self-doubt clings to every pore, no matter how much micellar water you employ to remove it. On a particularly bad day, I wondered, was this worth it? Should I continue on this writing path? Usually I am unwavering in my devotion – but sometimes a girl just feels bad about a perceived lack of miracles! In the world of social media, it seems like everyone is doing better than you. In my case, writing more, publishing more, earning more…

I rounded the bend on my walk and saw a small group of people forming a semicircle. I almost walked right past, not in the mood to take part in their social ritual. But something made me stop.

They were watching my Heron, who had made a triumphant return to the lake.

I rounded the corner again and again to see him, my heart filled with a rush of sudden joy.

A few weeks later, I was writing with a friend at the lake. The Heron came right up to us, stood mere feet behind me, watching me write. I think he wanted to check in. My sign was looking for the sign that I’d heeded his call. I did, and I will continue on for the rest of my life.

Published by thegratefulpoet

I am a writer and artist living in the Pacific Northwest. I love to talk about books, writing advice, cats, tea, tarot, yoga & activism.

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