When I pulled up in front of my house last week, a heron waited in my driveway. I had never seen one on my street before, let alone one on the ground.
I drove past my house cautiously. The heron did not move. I parked on the other side of my house and walked back to my gate. As I approached, the heron moved away slowly, stilts picking delicately through the grass. I opened the gate and then closed it behind me. The heron merely walked to the far side of my yard. Only when I climbed the steps to my porch, did it take flight.
Google tells me that the heron was considered a messenger from Athena. For Christians the heron was a symbol of contemplation. For Native Americans the heron totem reflects the need for self-determination, the following of one’s own, unique path. The Chinese consider the heron and the crow to be symbols of the yin and yang, the unity of opposites.
When I come out of the house later that afternoon, a crow stands watch over the yard across the street.