Whenever I pray by a lake I am on the lookout for my spiritual companion. He has wings, but he’s not an angel or the Holy Spirit. He’s a heron. For many years the presence of a heron would signal a good prayer experience or a meaningful week’s retreat. Some years I see the heron on the last day of the retreat. Sighting him means I will be able to go out from my retreat and live better for the week of quiet. On other retreats I may see the heron intermittently a couple times in the middle of the week. The best is spotting the heron on the first day. Such was the case on Monday, August 6. As soon as I walked outside, I saw the heron on the edge of the lake, only a few yards from where I was standing. I was surprised, because I wasn’t even looking for him. The bird was a good omen. It said, “While the heron catches fish, you will be catching what God will be tossing to you.” Keep alert!