Regal and huge egrets have returned to the marsh, so commanding in their power, grace, and tenacity. And yet, to our surprise, red-winged blackbirds that are about 1/20 the egrets’ size have frequently been initiating pestering the egrets. Pecking at the egrets’ heads and tails, and even persisting when the egrets are airborne!
At first, we thought that perhaps the blackbirds were protecting their nests. But these territorial little birds have flown hundreds of feet from the trees in which they live and gone after the egrets halfway across the marsh. Time and again.
The amazing thing has been the egrets’ response: nothing. Or close to it.
No, these majestic and focused creatures have continued on their mesmerizing, meditative paths, only occasionally ducking out of the way of the blackbirds. The snowy egrets proceed with singular intent in their pavane of waiting patiently, moving in super slo-mo until diving in to snatch their meal of fish. Not once turning on the blackbirds with the egrets’ sizable, sharp beaks or even brushing the blackbirds away with their massive wings.
What a terrific lesson the egrets offer to those of us dogged by naysayers and doubters-both external and internal ones :)! The egrets’ wisdom came back to me while rehearsing recently with the usual suspects of demons swooping in, attempting to derail me. Self-doubt, distraction, hyper-criticism, illusory fatigue. All gathering around and dive-bombing.
I wondered if when this happens, when the nemeses show up, what if I just continue along, committed, laser-like, eyes on the prize? What if these demons just come along for the ride, like those pesky blackbirds hounding the egrets even mid-flight, whether the demons be from within or the skeptics on the outside?
I can just imagine the powerful egrets muttering to themselves, “Oh, you again?” when their relentless pests show up. And then these magnificent birds chuckle to themselves and sail forth…on their paths…undaunted.
Note to self: Be like an egret!
“Whatever you do you need courage.
Whatever course you decide upon, there will always be someone to tell you that you are wrong.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photo credit: Christina Goldberg; Sculpture: Gil Boro