Am Neckar: The River as Soul’s Companion

As I have recently found a spirit guide in the Great Blue Heron (see previous entry), water has long been an elemental spiritual presence for me.  Waters are symbolic of baptism, of cleansing and renewal.  I have been a long time away from water, too.  The following is a meditation I wrote while living in Germany back in February of 2002.  I would walk along the banks of the Neckar River in Tuebingen.  The water became a place of comfort, a friend to me at a time when I was walking a lonely path with many questions on my heart…

Neckar River

O still river, how long it ha been since I have seen your waters gently flow by.  How good it feels to sit here next to you, observing your nature.  The long days have made me weary and you are at present my only friend.  You understand me and speak to me in ways that others cannot.  I see my true self through the reflection from your waters.  You sustain me, you guide me and you give me life.  And today, when the life has been sucked away from me, I come to you to be renewed.  I come to sit at your banks and wash away the dirt from my face.  As still as you are right now, I feel the power within your soul; I feel the power within my soul.  And when our time together comes to an end, I take with me the images I see before me, so I can return to them in my dreams.  Forever you will flow, forever you will be and forever I will be in you.  O River of Life, I fall on my knees…I remember my baptism in your waters and I ask forgiveness.  I leave your presence, a Child of God, renewed and cleansed.  I look forward to the next time we shall meet.  It may be here or in another place far off, but your waters are eternal and will never change.

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My Friend and Guide, the Heron

Tonight I became convinced that the Great Blue Heron is my animal spirit guide.  I have seen the Blue Heron many times this year, and each time has been a spiritual encounter.  I saw one at Discovery Park and multiple times at the Ballard Locks.  I haven’t been to those places lately, and I miss the walks I used to take.  Lucky me that Herons inhabit near my home.  The following is my winter encounter with the Blue Heron, and has awakened my spirit to her guidance of me…

Heron

Tonight I met a friend—or should I say, tonight a friend met me.  Her sudden appearance was a welcome sight along a dark road on a cold night.   Head bowed, body tense, I walked along a path next to the canal, lost inside my wandering mind.  With a deep breath of chilly December air, I looked up and saw the silhouette of her body atop a rock against the lights across the canal.   Silently and still, she stood, as if she, too, were in contemplation.  My feet stopped and body paused.  I called out to her.  “Oh friend!  I see you.  Where have you been?”  And I realized that I too, have been absent from these waters where we used to meet.  I called out again, “Oh me!  Where have I been?  Too long has it been since I saw you last.  Let us stand here and know each other.”  I stood there, breathless, recalling past encounters with my friend, the Heron.   Each time she stood in water, off at a distance, but the essence of her presence near to me.  Each encounter was mostly silent, though rich with meaning.  When it was time for me to go, I said goodbye and strode down the path.   Oh Blue Heron, watcher over my life, protect me and guide me through this cold winter night!