PhotoHunter: Thankful

Only those who know me very intimately know why the Blue Heron is representative of something for which I am thankful.

In 2000, I went through a life-altering experience. I might have… I WOULD have… died had it not been for a brief encounter with a Great Blue Heron. I don’t believe in God or in divine intervention. I believe, instead that I CHOSE to take one path and not another and, while my intended path and my chosen path were intended to lead ultimately to the same place, the chosen one took me to a different place.

I think of the encounter not as “intervention” but in Serendipity. It happened because it happened but I am thankful that it did.

The Heron was an unintended guide… not unlike the chance meeting with someone who, unwittingly, inspires within you a change… a path taken or not taken.

I am thankful to myself for listening to “that small, still voice”. I am grateful to myself for choosing to see beauty where I might have passed by without looking. I am thankful to the beauty and wonder of the place we inhabit. I am thankful for the Heron for being in that one place and for that chance meeting.

The lesson is to not to look at the world around us but to SEE it. We never know where we will come upon a lesson, a guide, a salvation.

My Blue Heron Tattoo (solarized)

My Blue Heron Tattoo (solarized)



  1. March 2, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Being thankful for sharing your story behind your blue heron,…. and nice looking tattoo. Thanks for stopping by my blog,…. (you know, the one with the prince growing in water,…. lol) An update on the prince,…. his growing stage is getting way out of control,…….. I hope he can contain himself in his little surroundings cause he looks like he might explode. lol Have a wonderful week.

  2. Dragonstar said,

    March 1, 2009 at 8:04 am

    I’m glad you and the heron found eachother. I think I would also need a tattoo or some other physical way to keep the heron close.
    Very good advice on tattoos, too – well worth noting.

  3. March 1, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Nice post, thanks to the Heron. Great design

  4. Dawn said,

    February 28, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    A good take on the theme for today. Wonderful advice you have in you comments about getting tattoos.

  5. February 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    I always say ‘behind every tatoo there is a story’.
    Great Story~~

  6. mudhooks said,

    February 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Tattoos really aren’t as painful as many people think. They may hurt a bit when you are getting them but there are a number of factors which make them more or less painful. And “painful” is a relative term. I have never found it any more painful than a sunburn or a scrape. And it only hurts while they are doing it and perhaps for a few hours (if that) afterwards.

    1) Where you get it… Over a bony area or in a sensitive area. I cannot imagine how ANYONE would get their…. ummmm “wedding tackle” tattooed, though some people do. I had the area over my breastbone tattooed and it was only really painful after he had been working for a few minutes. However, just about the time it would get “painful” he would have to ink up and by the time he was ready to start again, a matter of seconds, the pain was gone. Sometimes, too, you may feel a bit more pain when the needle is going over a nerve.

    2) The amount of work you have done at any one sitting. My friend has had whole sections of her back done at one sitting and she said the pain was minor.

    3) Your relative pain threshold. I often find women are relatively oblivious to the pain because they find it less painful than their have on any given month (if you know what I mean). It is certainly NOTHING compared to childbirth.

    The fact is that while it is a needle entering your skin, it is only into the first few layers of skin, and not much further. Basically, any pain you are feeling is what amounts to a minor abrasion.

    Tattoos aren’t for everyone. Some people would never want or get one and others want lots. Some people, in my opinion, get them for all the wrong reasons. They should be well-thought through and you should never get one because someone says you should.

    And, trust me, they can be addictive.

    I have 5 and have been planning a 6th one but needs to save up for it. They are not cheap if they are big. A very small one may be more expensive than you think it should be but you always have to pay a basic fee for the needles and after-care products. The actual tattoo cost is based on size, complexity, amount of colour-work, and number of steps in the process. Some tattoos will require you coming back over several months to have the colour-work done. Sometimes that is nice because you can save up between visits for the next work to be done.

    My advice is:

    – think it through
    – make sure you know and are comfortable with the design you have chosen
    – don’t be tempted to have a gigantic tattoo which was designed for a full back squeezed into a small area… The ink will eventually spread and yo may end up with a big black blob where once you had a beautiful Phoenix
    – check out the tattoo shop and the tattooist very carefully. Make a visit and watch him or her work and see the results of their work (someone I know swears by his “tattooist” who is not licensed and has no training. As happy as HE is with his tattoos, they are so bad that you would swear that they are jailhouse tattoos…). Will the artist refuse to do certain tattoos because they feel the person hasn’t thought it out very well or because they believe the design is so horrible that the person may regret it? Do they tell them to go home and think about it? That is the sign of a good tattooist.
    – Watch the set-up for a tattoo. Do they take great care in setting up and ensure that all the materials are at hand and that all needles are unsealed on the spot, just prior to the work being done? Is the shop cluttered and just not clean? Go someplace else.
    – Read up on tattoo care beforehand and follow the tattooists’ instructions very carefully. Over-care is as bad as not following after-care the instructions properly. You run the risk of leeching out the ink if you don’t follow the instructions and you get an infection (trust me, because I have seen the results when someone didn’t and it wasn’t pretty).

    Infection is rare unless you don’t follow the after-care instructions or you ignore your best instincts when it comes to choosing the shop.

  7. February 28, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Thanks for incorporating so much of yourself in this week’s PhotoHunt. It is contributions like yours that makes this such a fun meme to participate in.

  8. Arlene said,

    February 28, 2009 at 9:45 am

    That is a wonderful story behind that tattoo. Cool one though i never imagine to get one myself. I think it’s painful.

    Thank you for dropping by and for sharing the story of your friend. I feel i was at the right age already that time but i was not emotionally ready to be have a baby.

    I am so happy that are given the chance to make a choice.

    Happy week-end!

  9. Maureen said,

    February 28, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I’m glad you explained the backstory or I wouldn’t have made the thankful connection. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Mine is up at:

    Happy Photo Hunt!

  10. February 28, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Nice ink 🙂

    I played too 🙂

  11. Sandy said,

    February 28, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Great tattoo…but I do believe in divine intervention.

    Mine’s up, too

  12. Dianne said,

    February 28, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I do agree with Annie-definitely ‘divine’ intervention happened here through nature. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Shoshana said,

    February 28, 2009 at 8:22 am

    This is poignant.

  14. JC said,

    February 28, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Very cool tat and a thoughtful post. Sometimes the end justifies the means… however, whatever or whoever is involved.

  15. Annie said,

    February 28, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I love miraculous encounters with nature and stories of guidance and protection. And I love the photo of your Blue Heron!

    Thanks for visiting mine and have a great weekend.

  16. Brita said,

    February 28, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Amazing tattoo and interesting story. Thanks for sharing that with us. Take care and have a good weekend.

  17. Gabriel said,

    February 28, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Very interesting story, and a great picture!

    Thanks for dropping by.

  18. VioletSky said,

    February 28, 2009 at 7:23 am

    That is an interesting tattoo, I bet it looks great in real life.
    I love these serendipitous encounters. Glad you met with one.

  19. February 28, 2009 at 6:52 am

    That is an amazing tattoo. The story behind it is very interesting. Have a great weekend

  20. Anna said,

    February 28, 2009 at 5:11 am

    I love your post and I DO understand the meaning with your tattoo!

    I don’t know you. But I have experienced something quite the same that you’ve written about, some years ago..

    I wish you a happy weekend and feel free to contact me, if you want to share thoughts 🙂

  21. tanabata said,

    February 28, 2009 at 3:18 am

    That’s a really nice tattoo, and it was interesting to hear a little about why the heron means so much to you.

  22. shinade said,

    February 28, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Oh my what a very creative and interesting take on this theme. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain it all and share with us.

    Happy Hunting and happy day,

  23. YTSL said,

    February 28, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Very interesting story — and tattoo. 🙂

  24. sassy mom said,

    February 28, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Nice take for this week’s theme. Thankful that we are able to make chioces in our lives.

  25. Criz Lai said,

    February 28, 2009 at 1:00 am

    You have a tattoo? That’s an awesome design. 🙂

  26. azahar said,

    February 27, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I’ve always loved that tatoo. Good choice for “thankful”.

  27. mudhooks said,

    February 27, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    It is a Celtic design. I usually design my own tattoos but I was with my friend when she was getting one done and I wasn’t intending to get one. I was flipping through one of the Dover books of Celtic animal designs and saw this… It was… Serendipity…. I had it done that day.

    The original design was simply black line on white paper. I insisted on the colouring. My tattooist was reluctant because he thought the blue would be “all wrong”. I insisted and explained the story behind my choice. As a favour to me, he did it and he was floored by how beautifully it turned out.

  28. February 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    What a fascinating design. Very Celtic in its origins. And with a fascinating back story, in my imaginings.

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