I used to walk that way of a lunchtime. Eventually, I became quite superstitious about that heron. Every time I would see it, standing in the water with the intense stillness that its kind seems to exude, my day would improve. Bad mornings would be followed by good afternoons. Good days became perfect.
Here in Noord-Holland, herons are ubiquitous. They stare at me fixedly from the reed beds in het Twiske, and peer unblinking from beside the canals near my office. Amidst the common rabble of ducks and gulls, beside the vanity of the swans, they stalk like aristocrats or priests, somber and watchful.