Heron, the phoenix

Walking along the canal with the dogs and ducks, usually, Heron would meet us just ahead on the opposite side as the verge lifted. As we walked past, I would greet, "Hello Heron, how are you?" to which he would lift off and make a long loud qwaaark, and I would smile. If Heron flew overhead sooner, I would know we must head back; otherwise, we'd continue until our turning point. As we walked back along the canal, Heron would fly overhead and meet us by the bridge. As we approached the bridge, Heron would lift off, and I'd say, "Bye Heron".

On one of these occasions, I had the pleasure of meeting Heron closer, as he was waiting just ahead on our side, and I gleefully said, "Hello Heron, nice to see you. How are you?". Knowing Heron's antics, Lilly moved playfully towards him, leading him to lift off into the air, releasing a long, loud qwaaark.

I enjoyed greeting Heron and our exchange. One winter on our walk, I passed a parked canal boat and saw a heron lying in the water. I felt sadness, thinking of poor Heron and felt like I had lost a friend. On that day, I didn't see Heron waiting on the canal bank, and my heart dropped.

The next day, whilst walking along the canal, I searched for Heron lying by the canal boat and couldn't find it. Perhaps it moved downstream with the water current, I thought. With a tinge of sadness, I continued my walk with my dogs and the ducks.

Soon, I no longer thought of Heron and our meetings. One day, walking along the canal, I saw, far in front of me, what looked like a heron. My initial thought was that my eyes were seeing things, so I blinked a few times and continued walking. As I got closer, my heart lifted, and I saw clearly that it really was a Heron. I cheered, "Hello, Heron, it's great to see you again", to which Heron lifted off, expelling a wondrous qwaaark - I was delighted.

Walking back along the canal that day, I was feeling happiness at seeing Heron again, but still sadness about the Heron I had seen lying next to the canal boat in the water.

Full of mixed emotions, a thought struck me. A message. Does a heron have a likeness to a phoenix? Could this be like the rise of the Phoenix?

Later that evening, I looked for a Phoenix picture and saw the likeness. I jumped with joy. The message mixed with both, the sadness of death and the happiness of seeing Heron again. Was the message that the Phoenix had risen? The old had gone, and the new had arisen.

Reflecting on that moment fills me with amazement at the messages and encouragement from nature, and I feel grateful.

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