Here is another photo reflection from my friend Joyce Smith.
These little egrets certainly seem to move with the rhythm of nature and life.
Egrets are part of the Heron family. The RSPB describes them as having white plumes on crest, back and chest; black legs and bill, yellow feet.
They were first seen significantly in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996.
They can be seen on a number of south coast sites where they breed.
Some are also winter visitors.
The photograph which Joyce sent is very compelling and I found it particularly important to spend time with it. As I sat in silence, looking at it, words like Grace, Stillness, Beauty, Purity and Peace came to mind.
The background of lush, verdant grasses and plants, paints a background of nature embracing and framing the quiet poise of the two birds, patiently waiting to catch their next meal (always fish). Yet they are almost statuesque. The water laps around them and, behind , becomes an oasis-like pool in which they can wade.
Joyce invites us to sing and dance to the rhythm of life and there is a strong sense that the photo records a balance of nature to our own, often unbalanced and frenetic lives. The message seems to be that we were never meant to live the way we do. It’s an idealistic message, of course, for those whose reality of life is different.
Life isn’t that easy for us, especially at the moment, but let’s also remember that in the natural world of the egret things are tough too.
But in the photo there is a what I like to call a ‘Pause moment’ .
We are invited to be still, to pause, to breathe, to re-balance our lives, if only for a few minutes.
We are gently challenged to become part of who and what we are in God’s eyes and maybe we might learn a little to sing and dance to the rhythm of life – real life as God longs it to be for us.
But this contemplation shouldn’t leave us dissatisfied. There is nothing ‘if only’ about this. A companionable moment with a friend is never futile or wasted. It is a time to be still and maybe wait.
Bird-watchers are, I believe, very patient people. Holding their breath as the egret or some other bird, circles and lands. There is a thrill of expectation about to be fulfilled.
As I sat in companionable silence, quietly watching the egrets I knew what I was waiting for.
My companionable God. He comes so easily in quiet. Which is why the egrets remind me that I must cherish this moment as a Godly re-balancing.
The symbolism of the egret is said to be about being at peace with oneself and with the world. This is a state of balance and calmness.
When, even if only for a moment, we reach this level of spirituality and of peace with our Creator, then we can discover ourself as a more balanced and integrated person, full of life and of God.
This, of course, is a mirror. This photo holds itself up for us to see the One for whom it is most true – He who invites us to sing and dance with the joy of life – Jesus.
[Mr.G & Joyce with a little help from Revd. Lynn]
*** RSPB = Royal Society for the Protection of Birds