I was at the very end of the island of Singapore when I spotted a heron by the seashore. On my left was the crowded causeway that connected Singapore to Johor Bahru by land. I gazed at the heron and thought, “You could easily make the journey to Malaysia. No passport required.”
As for the rest of us, we need a passport to cross that ocean, that shore, that body of water that divides us from a distant land. The truth was that I no longer had a passport. Or perhaps I realised that I no longer required one.
The heron is a vahana associated with Lord Brahma, the Blessed Lord of Creation. Lord Brahma is said to be self-created, for before him, there was no creation.
The heron’s realm is the place where water meets land. The water body naturally and effortlessly brings the heron gifts from foreign and faraway places. It is why the heron does not see the need to travel. He knows that the sea will bring him all he ever needs.
The heron of Woodlands was by himself, eating, taking what he needed from the coast. Although he was alone, I wondered where his wife and family were. Herons, for the most part, are monogamous and family-oriented. They generally do not like to be separated from their nests.
The heron is associated with the shallow waters. He does not venture into the deep end. He waits for what emerges from the depths onto the surface. He is not a deep diver. At the same time, he knows that from the depths can emerge all manner of treasures.
While the heron is found in most regions of the world, he is not always easy to find or spot due to his solitary nature. He mostly keeps to himself. He prefers it that way. The heron’s diet is simple. He eats what the wetland can provide. Each day, he awakens and feasts on fish, amphibians and reptiles.
The heron is, at all times, surrounded by an aura of nobility. The heron always shows grace, even when under pressure. He already knows he is a King and does not feel the need to boast about it to anyone. He is shy, reserved and watchful.
In Ancient Egypt, Bennu the heron was there to announce the beginning of time. It was recognised as a symbol of life and creation. Bennu possessed the soul of the Sun God Ra. The bird was a respected symbol of immortality.
Since Bennu was believed to have risen from the flame of a sacred tree, he symbolised the end of a difficult period in our life and the arrival of a fresh start. Bennu is often portrayed with two long feathers and the crown of Osiris on his head.
If we so choose, we all possess the ability to lead a life of nobility and grace.