There I am in one of those wonky self-portraits that amuse me to no end. This was taken on Monday's hike in the game refuge where I walk the mutts almost every day. At the end of our little neighborhood trail, there are three choices: to the right, which is where Neal usually takes the girls for their morning walk, to the left, which leads to the "big trail" and straight, which goes down a steep hill before it levels out and ends at the beaver pond. This is one of my favorite spots in the world. I love the evidence of the beavers, the chewed up trees. Maddie enjoys wading in what is really a brook, not a pond, and I enjoy being quiet as I listen to the water bubbling by, smell the trees, and bask in the sunlight as it dapples the ground. Yesterday the girls and I watched in awe as a blue heron lifted from our beaver pond into the trees above.
When I commuted on the Metro North line each day, I tried to sit on the Hudson side of the train. I liked to watch for a blue heron that often hung out just past my station. If I saw the bird, I would tell myself "this will be a good day." The morning of the attacks on the World Trade Center, I saw it, thought that. In the months after, when I would see the bird, I tried to maintain my optimism, my faith in it as a symbol of joy. It's been two years since I rode Metro North, but seeing the blue heron yesterday made me think of all that other bird had meant to me.