Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Calm, Still Lake

“Make your heart like a lake
with a calm, still surface

and great depths of kindness."
- Lao Tzu

Maiden and Flying Crane - Hsu Roh Ling
silk brocade mat

I may be imagining it, but I think I was the recipient of some interesting omens yesterday. Of course, now I must enlist your help to understand them.  Here's what happened.

I went out to the park at Weldon Spring City Hall with the intention of meditating before my walk, and as I approached, I saw someone I hadn't seen since last fall, Brother Heron--or is it Sister Crane? Can you see her there by the water's edge?

As I walked around the pond to my usual bench, we simply looked at each other, engrossed.

I took a seat and continued to watch. She got bored and turned away.

Just a moment after I snapped this shot, the bird rose gently up into the air. She leisurely unfolded her wings and flew across the pond, right over my head. I felt the whoosh of them as they beat just a few feet above me. You can't really tell by the pictures, but her wingspan was impressive, at least six feet wide. I was startled, but remained calm.

Chinese tradition holds cranes and herons in high esteem. According to my search, I found that they are regarded to be a symbol of longevity, and represent other auspicious traits, like health and happiness.

I looked to my right, and this lovely couple appeared.

These two ducks ignored my stare and walked right past me, down the hill...

and into the water. They were just ducky.

I learned that ducks are a Celtic symbol of honesty, simplicity, and resourcefulness, and represent sensitivity to nature and one's surroundings.

Just then, another couple arrived at the pond.

Two Canada Geese glided soundlessly into the pond directly in front of me. They seemed to want to meet up with the duck couple...

And they did.

According to Native American folklore, those who are kind, loyal, and brave attract geese as their totem. They also known to be true-blue defenders, and will never leave one of their own alone if sick or injured.

I can't ever recall seeing ducks, geese, and cranes/herons at the same time at the same water's edge. Have you?

Maybe these visits from my avian friends were a sign of fortune and good luck. Maybe they were a portent of things to come. Maybe it's simply the fact that I was so happy to be outside yesterday afternoon that I wanted it to be more significant than it was.

What do you think?

I hope you have a day full of good omens, and all of them come to pass.

Here's something new for you. I had the most wonderful time searching for the right music for this post. I wanted the zen flute, but happened across the Chinese bamboo flute, instead, and fell in love with this young lady's talent. Characteristic of the Chinese mindset, I suppose, this artist's name is not listed, though dozens of pieces by her have been posted. She is listed in a few of the videos only as "a skillful girl."

The name of this song is "Ten Thousand Year Happiness" and that is exactly what I'm hoping the visit by the crane might mean. Enjoy!


  1. To have happiness, we must invite it in. And you do, Jo. The birds may be an omen but methinks they just wanted to get close enough to you to take in some of YOUR karma. Peace

  2. jo my dad told me even before i really understood what he meant that no living thing -especially animals - crosses your path or enters your world without a purpose or significance. i still think that!!! steven

  3. What a nice thing to say, Delana. If that's so, I'm sure they felt how happy I was to see them.

    Much love and peace back to you today (tonight!),

  4. Hello Steven,

    As the saying goes, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Now I see where you got much of your sensitivity to all that surrounds you.

    And now you pass that on to your deserving son...THAT'S good fortune!


  5. We often see ducks, geese and heron by the ponds and I consider this reflective of the peaceful, welcoming atmosphere that exists here. We have had first-hand experience of the loyalty of Canada Geese, when one of a pair died in our woods and its mate stayed for the rest of the season, often calling out - and we had not doubt that it was a cry of sadness.

  6. These are all GREAT omens. Cranes bring long life and great patience, ducks bring sweetness and loyalty, and geese bring fierce protectiveness for family, or at least I think so. Mazel tov!

  7. Oh, Pondside, what a touching story. Some of the information I read suggested that geese should be the mascot of the Marine Corps because they never leave a fallen comrade.

    It amazes me to know the depth of commitment to loved ones within Nature. It makes me feel the interconnection of all living things in an even stronger way.

    Thanks for the touching reminder, Pondside.

  8. Thank you, Reya!

    I knew you'd know much more than I could ever dig up on my own. If you say they are good omens, they are.

    I did feel blessed to be there, outside, in the warmth of the sun, connecting to the sodden earth, yesterday. More of the same today, please!


  9. Jo, such beautiful photos and words to match. I agree with Delana's comments that it may very well be YOUR kind spirit that attracts your friends in nature.

    Must say, too, that I am charmed by the folks who are reading and responding to your blog, Jo. They seem absolutely delightful and wise. (not talking about me!) Thanks.

  10. Beautiful post, beautiful painting and perfect choice of music!!!

    Love to you and peace today and always...

  11. Jan, thank you for your gracious words.

    I agree with you about the amazing people who visit my blog. They are brilliant, generous, thoughtful people who lift me up with their warm support every day.

    You fit right in with this crowd.


  12. Glad you liked it, Vicki!

    Thanks for stopping by.
    much love and peace and joy to you,

  13. Jo, those are WONDERFUL omens...! Believe me. And they are wonderful photographs too.

    I often have Steller's Jays come to visit me in my tree house. I'll have to look up what that means. :-)


  14. Wow, Jo. Thank you.

    As for your Stellar's Jays, I don't know what they might symbolize, but they are absolutely beautiful birds. How lucky you are to be visited by them!

    Your treehouse? "Scuse me, I'll be stalking your blog now...

  15. Hi Jo! I came across your blog while perusing about on the other Jo's blog =) I think that whether they are actually good omens or not, the fact that this experience made you so happy and hopeful is probably a sign/omen in itself :) Perhaps it was just to get you thinking about life and happiness, maybe? haha Or maybe its just early in the morning and I'm getting it all wrong! Either way I'm happy to have come across your blog.

  16. Welcome, Burke! I read your mention of your new blog and it sounds wonderful...a mother/daughter conversation. I'm jealous. ♥

    Thank you for visiting my neck of the woods.

    I hadn't thought of my trip to the pond that way, but I think you're right. Iwas SO happy to see the random surprise of such a lovely day that I literally dropped everything to go out and enjoy it.

    I may have simply allowed myself to be absorbed in the experience, noticing every delicious detail.

    Thank you for visiting and adding your perspective. I hope to hop over to your blog today to introduce myself.


Your visit makes my heart smile. Thank you.