May 7, 2018


Perhaps there is no social joinery more magical than the shared spotting of a heron, its legs shin-deep in the banks of the river that runs through the city, all sounds drowned out by the morning traffic but there it is, this majestic creature. It’s a sight shared by you on your run—you seeing it in a startled double-take as you pass by, and then, silently, you are scanning the area for someone, anyone to share it with, and then you see them, two people on a dock also staring. Neither of you is really a Bird Person; you can guess this because there is no telltale gear for recording, and it’s probable that all of you are guessing Great Blue? but not really knowing and it not really mattering.

And it’s likely that all of you three are no longer young, and why? Because you are attending to the horizon, actively looking for this magic because you are living with your mortality now. You have enough brain cells that are not devoted to rehearsing last week’s slight in a conversation or the relative speed of this run compared to that one yesterday and what it means about your human worth. Here you are with your filters set wide and rewarded, this once, with the spotting of the heron. But the moment is passing, the pavement not slowing under your feet, so you have just a few tiny seconds to look at the two on the dock, to point at the noble animal together, locking eyes. None of you will risk startling it by calling out, but it will have been enough collective visual gestures to say together Oh how beautiful.