We have a visitor at the studio for the past few weeks, a large Heron perched for hours on the roof across the way. An awe-inspiring sight.

The Heron is solitary and flies alone except during the mating season. They hunt for fish and because they wade gently in the water and wait for just the right moment to strike, they represent patience — observing and thinking before acting.

The Heron has been revered by the ancients who associated it with wisdom, serendipity, willpower and nobility. Legends tell that it was the Heron’s call which hailed the beginning of creation.

In the Talmud the heron ,Anafa אֲנָפָה (angry bird) is characterized as cruel and is contrasted with the pious stork חֲסִידָה Chasida (The Kindly One).

Although both birds are identified in Leviticus 11:19 as unclean (not kosher for eating), they symbolize two basic elements of Jewish ethics. From the stork, we learn the importance of charity, and from the heron, we learn about the dangers of anger. The lesson is finding the balance in being sensitive to the needs of others, and having control over anger and selfish inclinations, lest we fall into errors and mistakes.

Heron Blue
noble and aloof
perched atop
long bony legs
on top a hot slat roof—

Orange bill
black coral crown
purple plums
on royal feather gown—

Messenger from high above
speaking silent of hope and love
amidst the chaos and the gloom
of days when life will once more bloom.
©Yakira Shimoni Fulks
June 8, 2023 | OC California

Photography: Asaf Fulks | The OC Recording Company |
Canon EOS 5DS