Photo of a Little Egret I took about a year ago during a spring walk along the Noh River near my house. Some of you might remember it.
About three weeks ago I was returning from a long run in the rain when I happened upon two male Little Egrets stalking one another. I stopped along the bank of the river and for half an hour didn’t move a muscle. Just when my bones seemed to begin to turn to ice, the Egrets started dancing. Slow figure eights each, but never quite breaching the edge of the other’s floorspace, and all the while when one dancer approached the inner edge, the other would swing to the outer. They held their wings half open, their necks straight and their beaks high. In silence. When I could no longer stand the cold, I moved and the dance broke up, each dancer taking off with an sharp croak, and once again I was left with the hurry of the falling rain and my own shivering mind.
Funny how the cacophony of birds resides in the realm of stillness, whereas a single blink of a human eye sends the denizens scattering.
This reflection was inspired by New Zealander Pete’s latest post, “Being Still”. Pete’s serene photography and lyrical words is fast making his site, Pohingapete, one of my favorite places to visit these days.