I am a simple farmer in a remote part of Bhutan. I live in Bumthang Valley, right in the heart of the country. The valley is famous for its scenic views and vast green forests. One could sit for hours by the river and admire the beauty of the mountains, the rivers, the birds and the endless spark of life.
I go fishing regularly for my survival. I choose spots away from the other anglers to find a better catch and enjoy my time with nature. I like one particular corner of the river, five kilometres from my village, south of the temple
The path leads into the forest and then opens up to a riverbed. I walk along the riverbed for three kilometres to reach my spot. I have various ways of identifying my spot, as the intricate rock-patterns on the bank provide several comfortable spots to sit. There is a giant ficus tree—my friend and protector from sun and rain.
I sit beneath the tree and prepare for fishing. But I am seldom alone. I have a companion—actually, a stranger that could be called a companion or a spectator, an observer or merely just another form of life existing in my reality. It’s a bird. Every time I come here, it is sitting on the rocks on the opposite side.
We have met each other a countless number of times. We acknowledge each other’s presence, but give each other space and go about our business. I never try to feed it or interact with it. It has never tried to approach me for anything. It is merely a coincidence that whenever I come here, it is here as well.
It is a heron. I have seen it carefully waiting hours and hours for a fish without moving or changing its position. I call it ‘the meditating heron.’ One day, I will tell my kids about it.
I like the way it goes about fishing. Sometimes it walks in slow motion, searching for fish with the intent of surprising the fish. However, it is by no means a slow bird. If it decides to go for the prey, it makes a