The Heron

Cyclists sprint past,
Cars hurry to the ferry,
Lovers chat,
Strong youths hike along the shore road
Unaware of the heron

Standing nearby

Long legs stiff

Beside the still water

Dignified with

Long, whispy feathers

Dangling from his chest.

Slender neck outstretched

Head tilted
Eyes staring, glaring.
Yellow beak darts and stabs.
A small fish is swallowed.

Rewarded.

Head wound into his shoulders

Rest for a while

Satisfied, savouring success
He waits into the night, fishing.
He knows that tomorrow
There will be choppy waters.
He shrieks, spreads his feathers,
Like a skirt hanging from his wings,
And rises to the hills beyond,
To wait, high in a tree,
Till the storm passes.

Family Friday. Sea Birds Thirst for Fresh Water

A few weeks ago I awoke to the call of Canadian Brent Geese that were along the water’s edge below our home.  I looked out to see half a dozen pairs swimming in the shallow water.    They love to eat Eel Grass.  It grows along the shoreline where fresh water flows into the sea.  There is a small stream that enters the sea below.  

I fetched a pair of binoculars to take a closer look.  The brown colour of their body feathers are a good camouflage against the brown, grey, seaweed covered stones. They have a white feathers on their lower bodies. They swim about on the edge of the water avoiding other gulls that are there.  

image

When the gulls fly off, the geese come up out of the sea and begin to drink from a small stream that flows across the stones.  They come to get a drink of fresh water!  They wait for each other to get their thirst quenched.  Then the whole group fly off, their outstretched wings, with white V markings on the tail, blend with the colour of the moving water and disappear into the distance.  

A couple of Great Black Backed Gulls come for a drink later.  There are a few pairs of them along this part of the bay.  A couple of Herring gulls rest nearby.
 
It never occurred to me that these birds needed fresh water.  I would have thought they would have got water from the food they ate in the sea.  When we went for walks along Tyrella beach I remember flocks of different sea birds gathered at the end of the beach.  A river flowed into the sea there.  The wildlife rested there in the sunshine for a while.

I believe God our creator wants us to drink from the flowing river of the Holy Spirit and rest a while.   Jesus told us to look to the birds of the air.  They don’t sow nor reap, yet their Heavenly Father cares for them.  I am taking a lesson from the birds of the air this morning.

As I watched the wildlife from my window, I was reminded of the Holy Spirit.  Very often life makes us weary, tired, dry and barren.   Our lives seem staved of life with nothing new happening.   But God invites us to come to him to get a drink of refreshing water to nourish our thirsty souls.

Jesus said to the woman at the well he would give her water and she would not thirst again.  
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 

The Holy Spirit is the Living water that Jesus promised.  He is described as the river that flows from the throne of God.  We are invited in Isaiah to come to the water.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.  (‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭1, 3‬ NIV)
As we drink in the Holy Spirit life flows again.

As I spend time praying in the Holy Spirit I get refreshed and have new strength.  No matter what age we are, we still run out of strength if we are too busy.  We need life from God to renew our energy.