This Week’s Challenge:
♫♫♫ By the sea, by the sea….♫♫♫
Barbary Chaapel suggested this new challenge and when she did, I immediately pictured a photo essay. She also suggested keeping the challenge wide open. I totally agreed with her. Of course, that got me to thinking about Star Trek when an alien called Kirk nothing but a bag of water. Then, there was a time when we found a few little baby catfish stranded in a puddle of water, swept down the creek by a flash flood. My imagination took over and thought of a tear drop, rain drop, dew on a petal. There is no limit to writing about the sea or any other body of water.
My challenge is to write anything you want (in any form you desire) about a body of water.
Ideas: I’ll be anxiously waiting to read your ideas.
Suggestions: Sure, please correct my grammar and send me challenges you’d like to see.
Make sure you put this (Wednesday Writing Essentials - WWE - Sea) in your title.
Be sure to tag it with WWE, Sea, Gather Writing Essentials.
Post to Gather Writing Essential.
I ask that you make your submission(s) by next Tuesday afternoon.
There is a limit of three submissions from each member per day. If you’re extremely prolific, spread out your work and post only three submissions per day.
Put this challenge statement at the beginning or end of your submission so readers will know what you’re supposed to do and won’t think you’re crazy.
Write (in any form you desire) about the sea or any other body of water.
“Through rushing waters or rocky shores,
I carefully wend my way.
Spear at the ready,
I gather bright schools of Wisdom
as I dance in the river’s bright spray.
Spirit, insight, and tranquility in blue…
Peace is a road that begins in each of you!
Diversity embraced is an asset sublime,
though awkward in youth,
you’ll bloom like the heavenly lotus given time!
I will teach you how to stand alone
despite turbulent waters or society’s moan,
and when to foster unity.
For independence coupled
with loving co-operation is my lesson
on how to create a harmonious community.
Fortune, focus, and long life are blessings taught
by my cousin, serene, in carefully folded alabaster wrought.
Flowing with your own rhythm,
bold exploration, fluid grace,
dignity, and balance are my gifts to you.
You need only diligently study and pursue!”
“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” ~ Sir Francis Bacon “To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.” Buddha
“An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” Book of Common Prayer
“When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be – I go and lie down where the wood drake rest in his beauty on the water and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought or grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” ~Wendell Berry
The Great Blue Heron is one of the most common of the wading birds found across the U.S. They live for about 15 years in the wild, and other than during mating and nesting times, herons live very solitary lives. The Great Blue stands anywhere from just over three feet high to around four and a half feet tall. Wingspans are 5 and a half to 6 and a half feet wide, but for all their lanky size, they weigh only between four and seven pounds! Females produce two to seven eggs which both parents will incubate and protect. This reclusive wader nests in colonies, preferring to hide their nests in tall trees or low shrubs.
There are 64 species within the Family Ardeidae, including Great Blue and the Great White Heron, which is actually an all white color morph of the same species found exclusively in the Caribbean and southern Florida. Various herons, bitterns, and egrets comprise this taxonomic Family, although there continues to be a great deal of debate over who does or does not belongs to the Ardeidae family officially. While the various Herons resemble Cranes a great deal and vise versa, actually Cranes belong to both a different Family (Gruidae) and a different Order (Gruiform). In this article, I will stick predominantly to the Great Blue, but would like to include some general information on the Crane to contrast.
Cranes share a lot of lessons with Herons, and both have been important Creature Teachers to many cultures. White Cranes, mentioned as “Cousins” in the poem here, were in my mind as I wrote in the form of origami cranes. Oragami was a favorite hobby of mine for awhile as a young girl, it taught me a great deal about patience, diligence, the value of silence and gentleness. Oragami is lovely therapy for anyone called by these Teachers. Whatever their coloring though in life, the easiest way to tell a Heron from a Crane is in flight.
A heron carries their neck in an S-shaped curve, resting their head just between their shoulders during flight. A crane flies with their neck fully extended. Crane has been a symbol of Justice, Longevity, Fortune and Focus in China for countless years. This Teacher says that it is best to not divide our attention, and emphasizes the importance of focusing our time, energy, and skills on one important task at a time. A parent who carries Crane totem, for example, will be most effective in their duties, and happier in themselves, if they don’t try to juggle their family and career at the same time. Both Crane and Heron are excellent Teachers to turn to when looking for Balance in any situation.
“Always accept good fortune with grace and humility. " Mark L. Mika
“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”
“Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.” Buddha
These Teachers feed upon creatures like: fish, small amphibians like frogs and newts, aquatic invertebrates, various insects, and plants that grow in marshes and swamps, reptiles like snakes, and small mammals like the voles which make up so much of the Great Blue Heron’s diet. Whooping Cranes, for another example, concentrate their diet upon blue crabs. And, both cranes and herons are preyed upon by wild canines like foxes, minks, raptors like hawks, bobcats, and even the elemental force of Winter. As waders, they are the type of bird that best represents a harmonious blending between Air, Earth, and Water. Any of these Teachers, from Fish to Winter, make excellent balancing energy for those called by these graceful birds, and should be examined by those who feel called by these Teachers.