To Be as the Heron

Dispatches from Fr. Charitas
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

heron3I watch with amazement a young lad balanced so perfectly on the railing of the dock. He is mimicking what the herons do on that same railing, one leg tucked under, poised on the other. And I am not sure who poses the better, the heron or the lad.

Why does the lad dare do such a thing? What purpose does it serve to mimic the heron? Is it a proving of his daring? Is it a showing of his skill? Possibly. But I tend to believe the young lad does it because the young man can. I think if finds a certain oneness with heron … in doing what herons do.

The human spirit has this blessing within their nature … we can become like other creatures with whom we share this realm. We see the birds fly and we yearn to fly. We see the deer run swiftly across the clearing and we yearn to race with wind. We see the otters tumble and roll and we yearn to know the joy of their being. Yes, there are many of God’s creatures I would like to mimic … but in regard to people … there are only a few.

I am not sure why. Maybe it is upbringing. Maybe it is experience both positive and negative. Maybe it is the virtue I have gained or the people whom I have known … but I am not an envious soul. I never have had a yearning to be a rich man or a famous man or a powerful man. But I have always yearned to be a “good” man, an honest man, an authentic man, a gentle man, a gracious man, a loving man … and, for most of my life, to be a Christ-like man. But nowadays, in these years of fulfillment, I can only think of a few souls I would “mimic”. Possibly, St. Francis of Assisi, possibly Gandhi, possibly Christopher Robin … but assuredly, with the quality of spirit as found in Christ my Lord.

That young lad perched in perfect balance across the inlet on that narrow railing … I do not believe I will try that myself … but I might like to be as Peter Pan.

Always in His Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz

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