I parked in the carport, situated some distance from my condo, and started my relatively long walk to my home. I turned the corner and stopped abruptly in my tracks.
The sun was shining in my eyes. After blinking and squinting, I realized a beautiful, tall, long necked egret stood at the intersection I needed to traverse to get to my front door.
The egret was facing to my left, looking straight at me through the deep, dark, glistening eye on the side of his head. I paused; I didn’t want to scare it, but I wanted to continue walking forward, so I did the only thing I knew to do…
I explained to the egret, in a quiet gentle voice, “I live here.” – I pointed politely to my place. I went on explaining that, “My front door is a bit beyond you – ‘over there’” – and I pointed to around the corner to make sure he understood. “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to pass by you to get home; I hope you don’t mind.”
He listened intently, stood statuesquely, and did not reply.
I moved to the far left side of the walk and progressed slowly…gently, keeping my eye on his eye the whole time.
To my surprise, he didn’t fly away.
I resumed my one-sided conversation telling him how beautiful he was and how glad I was he had
decided to visit this part of the neighborhood.
I got closer; he turned, and I expected him to take flight; instead, he gracefully strolled, with his long,
slender legs to a grassy spot just beyond the juncture in the sidewalk where I needed to make another
I now was within inches of him; I whispered, “I’m so glad I didn’t frighten you. Thanks for trusting
me.” I smiled, made my turn and headed to the final bend onto a short walkway that leads up to my
He hadn’t budged. I started down the final stretch, glanced back and saw him following me! He was
now a foot or so behind, and he was actually following me.
I turned toward him, and cajoled, “My goodness, aren’t you courageous! You are as brave as you are
beautiful.” I was standing inches from my front door when the egret started strolling down the short walk I was standing on; he was coming straight toward me as if he were going to go inside with me!
I maintained my “small talk,” asking him what kind of day he was having and if he had a mate somewhere close by; he just watched.
Finally, I was ready to go in the house, so I said, “Well, thank you for such a wonderful encounter, and I hope we meet again soon, but I have to go in now, so you have a wonderful day.”
I turned, came in, shut the front door and immediately positioned myself near the window so that I could see what the egret would do next yet where he could not see me watching him.
He waited, looking at the front door, for about five or six seconds, turned and sauntered down the sidewalk; he strutted as if he owned the place and had come to make an important inspection of the property.
…but little did I know what was to happen next!
I often walk down by the stream near my home, where ducks and egrets lounge. The day after “meeting” the egret, I went for a walk there and found myself seeking “my” egret – yes, I had made him “mine” now – not in an exclusively possessive way, but rather with a sense of “loving unity” way – we had connected, or at least I felt we had connected.
I had hoped to see him, but I didn’t.
The next day, I took another walk, and again looked everywhere for my egret, when suddenly, I stopped in my tracks.
I did not stop because I saw him; in fact, the egret was nowhere to be seen; that is not what stopped me, nor is that what made me stand motionless in the middle of the path with tears running down my cheeks.
The tears were not of sorrow, but of awe. I found myself standing there in awe. Not in awe of what I could see, but in awe of what I heard; in awe of what it meant; in awe of what I was experiencing; in awe of what I suddenly had come to know.
I heard my inner voice saying to me: “I need not see the egret with my eyes, for – I Am the egret!”
The words echoed in my head – I Am the egret.
There is nothing outside myself to see with my eyes for I am one with all that is - I am all there is – this “I am” is not the “I am” of the ego, but is the “I Am” of Spirit – the eternal, ever loving, ever present, ever knowing “I Am.”
At that moment I understood – no – I experienced my oneness with all that is. With one simple phrase, I awakened once again – even more aware than ever before - to the truth of who I am – that nothing is outside of me – that I am the egret and all that being the egret encompasses.
Photo by Kathie Bradley
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