I was visiting San Antonio to tend to an ailing parent. I visit the city, where I grew up, about every six weeks, which I find hard, so I always bring a camera to get me out of doors and out of my funk.
One night, unable to sleep, I went out before dawn. Hilderbrand Avenue, was under construction and I got lost somewhere trying to detour around it, winding up in the middle of Brackenridge Park. I parked my car and walked around a bit. I had not been to the park since I was a boy, and at first I had no idea of where I was, until I realized that my grandmother once took me fishing there, on the very bank of the San Antonio River where I stood.
Eventually I saw the first heron take fight, and then another, and another. They took charge of the sky; they flew with such command, no one would think to challenge them. They were beautiful, achingly, hauntingly beautiful. It was as if angels took up residence in the trees; we mortals below, their charges, were oblivious, blundering through our lives unaware, as usual. I suddenly felt at peace because i was witness to their unbounded joy.
They have no fear. They are the heron nation, strong and free.