Today I had a long lovely visit with one of my favorite people. We also went to see the herons together, and while we saw many nests with babies in them and several proud adult herons, we also discovered that these beautiful birds too have their share of tragedy and grief. One of the babies has fallen from the nest and died. We couldn’t figure out exactly what happened. Did the juvenile hawk that lives just around the corner and likes to perch on a particular branch have anything to do with it? Did cats or squirrels? Or did the baby simply venture out too far before it knew how to fly? We didn’t know and we had no way of communicating our condolences to the big majestic bird we assumed to be the heron mama. It must be hard to raise baby herons to adulthood. It must involve a lot of faith and courage, a willingness to believe in miracles and hang on stubbornly to the delicate thread that is life. Perhaps this is why these birds seem so wise to me. They live mysterious and occasionally dangerous lives and the fact that they thrive against all odds and do so looking majestic is definitely worthy of admiration and awe.