Great Blue Heron

This chapter is located towards the end of the book. Terry’s mother Diane has just passed away and she is spending a lot of time her grandmother Mimi who has now been diagnosed with cancer. She begins the section by describing the character of a great blue heron, anthropomorphizing the bird, and telling us of herresiliency. Herability to stay at home as the water levels rise and retreat. This alludes to Terry’s own “generational stance, the legacy of her lineage.”

Upon further investigation, it seems that blue herons are symbols of balance and illustrate what it is to evolve through changing environments. Whenever I see these birds at home, they are almost always wading, walking, and observing at the shallow edges of ponds or lakes. Sometimes I spot one flying overhead, with neck outstretched, but this is a rare occurrence. Like many other water birds, they exist in the worlds both above and below the water line, reliant on their long legs to carry them deeper into the shallows, but never venturing too far. Overall, Terry uses this bird in order to discuss her own need for balance in her life and her ability to weather this tide of familial loss.

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