Today on my walk, I saw him again... a blue heron in the green muck near the lily pads. I had seen him before, about a month ago. Perhaps he resides in the lake. I will try to take pictures of him at some point before I leave, but today he reminded me of the heron that used to live in the pond at St. Mary's.
The heron had a sort of tragic demise when he failed to fly off to more tropical climes one winter and was frozen into the pond. Some animal-friendly eco-conscious students tried to rescue him, but I believe the shock of it all proved too much and he died. (Someone correct me if I am misremembering the incident... my memories of beloved birds on the campus are too interwoven with the peacock removal fiasco that ensued around the same time).
Herons have a graceful mystique to them. I suppose many birds seem like incarnations of ancient gods, hence Poe's most famous poem; if this is the case, then herons seem to me like some captured oriental princess who defies her father's wishes and studies martial arts secretly to defend herself from the man her father will force her to marry. Just in their stubbornness and their purposeful manner and movement.
The last few months have made me realize that I require fairly accessible natural beauty near where I live to be most content, healthy, and inspired. It doesn't have to be all that spectacular--farms and sparsely lined woods seem to have done just fine for me in my youth--but I get antsy living in too much concrete. Thankfully, I did not accept a job in the heart of Seoul!