Be Like a Heron in Wind & Running Water. ~ Jenna Penielle Lyons

My boyfriend’s office overlooks the Clark Fork River in Missoula, MT.

He and his co-workers see beautiful birds all day long. Bald eagles, ducks, and lots of little ones—but there is also one majestic heron that stands out among them all.

He puffs himself up and stands on the island in the middle for long periods of time…through the wind, rain, and snow. He stands perfectly still, sometimes on one leg. Then, when the time comes and he feels it is the right thing to do, he will fly away.

He always buries his own neck and head into his baby blue and grey fluff—turns inward to stay warm.

With all the crazy weather blowing and crazy people bustling around him, he always looks perfectly peaceful.

We have to do that too. We have to turn inward to stay happy. We have to be happy in our own skin.

Or feathers.

Otherwise, the world and other people tear us apart—so we have to strengthen the citadels around us that protect our hearts and our souls. Find happiness inside you.

I’ve always thought that wind—weather—is important because it chisels and carves away our character. We become perfect, but it takes lots of time. Lots of time. And, we can’t force the carving. It just happens, along with adversity, trials, broken-heartedness, love, pain, and loss. And self-realization and self-actualization.

Yes, you will.

“When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.”

~ LL Cool J

So another thing about the heron…and LL Cool J agrees…without at least one foot firmly grounded, standing in the middle of a windy river would be an impossibility. And taking off into a beautiful pattern of flight would also be an impossibility.

And yet, without looking upward toward the sun, the heron could not fly or aspire to fly.

It’s a delicate balance…like a heron leg in a swiftly moving, icy river.


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Editor: Bryonie Wise


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Michael Baird.

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Jenna Penielle Lyons

Jenna Penielle Lyons was born in Portales, New Mexico among sage and sand. Raised in Pocatello, Idaho among the black rock and juniper, she grew up wandering in cowboy boots, running, riding bikes, skiing, climbing, painting, and studying classical ballet. She is a scholar of English Literature, a poet, painter, photographer, musician, and outdoorswoman. She winters in Missoula and spends the summer working for Snake River Hotshots. She is a lover of mountain bluebirds & elephants, tea & good coffee, Carl Jung, Salvador Dali, skiing, climbing in the desert, yoga, harp music, and sagebrush. Her favorite foods are borscht and any combination of chocolate and cayenne pepper. Check out her work and follow her adventures at her website.