Tag: transitions



Transition. A time between letting go and grabbing on.

As I stand at the creek’s edge, the water – half frozen, half flowing – reflects my state of between-being. No longer fully this, not yet truly that.

Perched in a tree top to my right, a male cardinal sings his tune. “Yoo hoo, yoo hoo,” the notes seem to say. He, too, is in transition. His goal? To release singledom and couple with a progeny-producing female. I wonder, Does he think about the after? After those thrusts of pleasure, after his seed is embedded, after his offspring breaks its shell and cheeps constantly with hunger, what then? Or does the cardinal exist only in the moment of his present longing?

My gaze returns to the water flowing between ledges of ice that line the shores. In the middle, a narrow coursing current with accumulations of snow and ice, frozen into shapes – two arrowheads and a bald eagle with wings outstretched. A pool of motionless water moistens an icy vulvar opening, while the rushing stream bifurcates at the erect tip, gushing around the frozen marquis to plunge into the black snout of Inari – the trickster fox of Japan – before tumbling onto its vulpine cheek ruffs and carrying on down the river.

To my left, lifting off from the shore is a grey heron – long legs, S‑shaped neck, impressive wingspan. Across the water, he lands on a branch directly in my line of sight. From take‑off, to airborne transition, to landing. Is nature reflecting the repetitive human pattern? How is it that I, an observer, can marvel at its transition, yet not my own?

I study the heron, amused at the incongruity of a shore bird in a tree. This cannot, of course, be his final destiny, his final arriving. Is there ever one final arriving?

At that instant, he stands, takes trial steps on his balance beam branch. With my eye remaining on the feathered wader, I reach for my cell phone. But as I zoom in with the camera, my eyes leave him for a split second. When I look again, he is gone. I’ve missed the beauty of his earthly release and his next exquisite transition. It is his alone to experience.

So I wander on, around the river’s bend. Here, the icy ledges stretch towards each other, almost touching at the center, while cloud-like clumps of snow and ice float lazily down a much narrower stream. Here, the water is more frozen, less flowing. Yet I know tomorrow will bring a thaw and the water will flow fully once again.

For now, the river and I exist in this gray between-being. The transition is but temporary. So I embrace the unknowing and sink into this liminal time of gestation.

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