Lesson from the egret and the wind

The other evening I was sitting at the edge of Newnans lake soaking in what was left of the light. The wind was blowing harder than usual, whipping waves out of the surface.

A solitary white Egret came into view, flying into the wind as it tried to cross the lake. For a few seconds it wasn’t going anywhere, held still by a force of nature even as wings flapped.

Rather than struggle the Egret changed tack, veering sideways and utilized the wind to push it across the lake in a roundabout way. Much like sailboats do that zig-zag thing when going against the wind.

Newnans lake is big and it was a long way across. I watched the Egret until it became a tiny white speck nearing its destination on the other side.

The whole thing piqued my curiousity because it was nature (the wind) within nature (the Egret) existing seamlessly within conflict. The bird could have kept on struggling into the wind until exhaustion, but it knew to change tack.

Witnessing this was a reminder of one of nature’s maxims: Know when to go with the flow.

1 Comment Lesson from the egret and the wind

  1. L A Liverman August 5, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Yaaaaaaasssssss! I got a gift of perspective like that from nature not too long ago. I had been struggling with some difficult obstacles and individuals on a work project and was out on a hike along a river to decompress. I was soaking in all the majesty of ecology working so well together, no matter what. Absorbed in the sounds of the water music as the river found its way among the rocks and downed trees and my focus softened as it was drawn into the tiny bubbles and uneven surfaces as the water crushed up against a large rock and seamless split around the big rock island, rejoining itself as the downstream end. And I thought to myself, duh! So obvious! Don’t fight the rock. Flow into and around it and be open to remaking yourself in the task and be a new whole on the other side. Be the river! And that is an image I continue to apply to my struggles at work. Less conflict, more melding into whatever is there and finding the bifurcating path. Somehow, I always come back together and in such a better form than at the impossible start…

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