I always get excited about the small free gift that comes with the actual purchase. The pleasure of getting an unexpected day off is not unlike finding a forgotten note in the pocket of your jeans.
Yesterday, my laptop decided it wants a day off and it crashed …..leaving me gasping for breath. I tried every trick (of which I know very few) to fix it. I cajoled and scolded but to no avail. The stubborn blank screen only responded with complete silence. I went through the entire gamut of emotions of being dismayed, then frustrated, frenzied phone-calls and then I gave up.
It was just better to take the day off. As I played hookey from work, I suddenly saw a white flash floating in the air. It was not a cloud, it looked like a white heron. Normally these birds are found on the plains near water bodies, what was it doing here? Or was it a figment of my imagination? It seemed like my alter self from the plains had floated up to my psyche. In the two and half years that I have spent on the hills, I have never spotted this bird.
With time on my hands, I decided to visit the cowshed and who should I meet there? It was my imagination that had taken a flesh and blood form and looked like a heron. There it stood gracefully listening to intermittent moos of the cow as it chewed its cud. The visitor waited for snacks to be served.
Of course, the cow and the heron have a very, deep and old relationship. The herons closely follow cows to feed upon the grasshoppers, crickets, horseflies, moths, spiders, and other insects kicked up by the hooves of the cattle. They literally follow the cattle around to feast upon a host of disturbed insects.
Cattle egrets and the animals they often accompany have a symbiotic relationship. The birds stand on the backs of cows and pick off parasitic bugs like ticks, fleas and flies. It is the proverbial you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.
Almost all relationships are need based. However, need is not the only factor that ties us to each other. Sometimes there is a shared experience, belief in the same values and ideas or just a tug from another lifetime. Somehow both the heron and the cow seemed to gently drill into my experiences long forgotten. Had the heron come to meet the cow? Had the two of them conspired with the universe that the three of us should meet?
In “The White Heron,” author Sarah Orne Jewett uses symbolism to convey a story of enlightenment by using the cow to symbolize material existence, the tree to symbolize the journey to enlightenment, and the white heron to symbolize spirituality and enlightenment.
As I sipped my cup of Dorje Rose Tea, I thought of all the relationships in my life. I wondered how many more births I would take to become a white heron.
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