passionate heron

7.14.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut
great egret ~ 7.14.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

“Patience” comes from the same ancient roots as “petals” – to open like a flower, to unfurl, to receive the stroke of a moth’s tongue and the ministrations of a bee. And so we are given “passive” and “patient” and “passionate.” The philosopher Spinoza thought that passion was the opposite of action: to be acted upon rather than to act. And so a heron is passionate in this odd, old-fashioned way – open, unresisting, transparent, suffering the sense impressions to flow through its mind, exquisitely aware, a single still point of clarity.
~ Kathleen Dean Moore
(Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature)

6 thoughts on “passionate heron”

  1. Lovely photo, Barbara! Did it take some patience to get this beauty’s picture and to reveal its passion? Odd that you should share a quote about a moth’s tongue. In the forest book I’m reading yesterday’s passage spoke of the author watching a moth affix itself to his finger and seeing it’s tongue probe. Apparently moths need salt to reproduce. Who would have thought? And who would have thought you would have shared this quote today? Life is a delicious syncronicity sometimes.

    1. Thank you, Kathy! It did take some patience and a lot of persistence to get this shot – the camera kept focusing on the grasses in the foreground instead of the heron in the middle. Don’t you love nature writers who know how to zoom in with their words and describe those little tiny moments of magic they notice while exploring their surroundings? I love the synchronicity of us both reading about receiving the stroke of a moth’s tongue from two different nature writers – delicious indeed!

  2. Such a beautiful creature. When the blue herons take flight, we always get a thrill when we the creak as the wind sings through their feathers.

    Sometimes at the beach, we’ll see distant spots of white: egrets seemingly standing on water; but in reality patiently balanced on sailing clumps of kelp.

    They’re all so wonderful.

    1. Aubrey, I’m picturing your egrets patiently balanced on sailing clumps of kelp and thinking you would make a wonderful nature writer. We have quite a few herons (egrets?) populating the salt marsh and salt ponds around here – we see them perched on trees on a tiny island in the pond at dusk. If I get up early enough in the morning I can see them hunting in the shallow water by the rocks at the beach. Some day I will get a good picture!

    1. Not sure if I’ve ever seen a great blue heron before… Some day I’d love to explore the sea birds to be seen in the maritime provinces of Canada…

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