Many years ago, when I first moved to the Midwest
I had the good fortune to live on a small lake. I can't
recommend this highly enough ~ there was no need
for television or other forms of entertainment. Any
time of the day or night, something was happening
on the lake, ducks, deer, muskrats and my favorite,
The Great Blue Heron. I had seen Blue Herons before
but I never had the chance to study them closely, day
after day. The herons were an elusive bird, nothing
like the friendly mallard ducks that adopted me as
their Mom and would try to walk into my house with
me. We would get together with our neighbors and
marvel at the beauty and grace of the Blue Herons.
They had a 6 foot wingspan and looked almost pre-
historic in flight.
My brother had a friend named Mickey. Mickey was a
Midwestern boy who moved to New York and worked
in films and on Broadway. Most people knew him as
Michael but his family called him Mickey and so did we.
Mickey was always scouring the weekend flea markets
for treasures and giving away food and clothing to the
homeless people in his neighborhood. He was a quiet
guy, he was more the observer than the life of the party.
I remember at one of my brother's parties in his NYC
co-op, I kept seeing Mickey every time I turned around.
He was observing a strange thing that was happening
with me that night. My brother's co-op is a railroad flat,
it takes up half of a floor of a building running from front
to back, it is a long series of rooms, much like a train car.
So this night, every time I looked down the length of the
apartment I kept seeing a guy staring at me with rather
confused and pleading eyes, I had no idea who he was.
At one point someone introduced me and said my
name, this guy heard and came up to me and said,
"Ellen, I knew it was you, why are you ignoring me?"
I had NO IDEA WHO HE WAS! He was sure I was
his ex-girlfriend (who he evidently still had a thing
for) and he was baffled as to why I (she) would not
even acknowledge him. I told him I had no idea who
he was and it was as if I had punched the stuffing out
of him. He thought I was playing some sort of game
with him and it was hurting him. Somewhere on Long
Island I have a twin and her name is Ellen. I explained
that this was my brother's apartment and I didn't live
on Long Island. I don't think I ever totally convinced
this poor guy. And there was Mickey, enjoying the
One day, I got a call from my brother with sad news,
Mickey had passed away. After I got off the phone, I
sat in the one of the wicker chairs by my front window,
I looked outside and there was the Blue Heron. Not by
the water, but at my window, This had NEVER happened
before. He looked right into my house, right into my eyes
and I said, "Mickey, is that you?" I truly had the feeling that
this bird somehow had Mickey's spirit in him, watching over
us, observing. And every time I saw a Heron, I'd say, there's
After this we started noticing a strange happening ~ every
time we were leaving for a trip, whether it was midnight,
5am or anytime during the day, either as we were walking
out of our house or soon after leaving we would see a Blue
Heron fly through the sky. And I also say, we will have a
good, safe trip because Mickey is watching over us.
On Wednesday of this week I was starting out on a road
trip to Ohio and what do I see, a Blue Heron flying right
over my car. The next day I was in an antique store and
all the way in the back on the floor, resting against a piece
of furniture was a plastic baggie with 3 tiles in it. One of the
tiles is the one shown above ~ a Blue Heron. Of course, I
had to get this! When I took it up to pay, the guy who
worked there said he planned to buy the tiles because the
person who put them in their booth had no idea of what
they had and priced them sooo low. I told him I beat him
to it, what I didn't tell him is that though I realized I found
a score price wise, really what I wanted was to have Mickey
in my house.