Pelican Teacher

Pelican Mantra

“I think I can, I know I can… I CAN!

A couple months ago I found myself transported for a few precious days …away from a snowy, cold Michigan mid-January winter to a a beautiful beach in southern Florida, Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs to be exact. What a treat! I walked the beach alone every opportunity I could seize.

Soon I realized that on each walk I was being mesmerized by the groups of pelicans. I couldn’t keep my eyes and thoughts off of them. It became almost a research project without me realizing it. I began to observe their resolve, their focus, their breath of intention that said,  “I can do this, I can get this large and awkward body off the water in order to find the food I need.” Literally, there was a definite breath and a solid pause before each take off, and then with strength and purpose, each would take off at their own pace of readiness, not concerned if he or she was first. And then begin to flap those wings with such fervor and steadiness, … with what looked to me, considerable and great effort just to move that top heavy body up and up, gliding just a few feet above the waves, then rising higher and higher with momentum in order to see the big picture below. There was more flapping and flapping, circling and regrouping if need be, with no sense of mistake, while keeping perfect balance and focusing on exactly the goal below.

Then one would spot a fish and then take a calculated and forceful dive, anticipating perfectly the exact movement of its prey… straight down with such speed, without hesitation…and voila, right on target! …a fish snatched so quickly that I am sure the fish didn’t even know what happened because it was done with such speed and precision…and then, instead of the pelican gulping it down, the pelican held it for a moment, getting just the right grip… and then with a quick movement it was flipped into its pouch, and then with a tip of its head it slid right down its throat. And then it just sat, I imagined in gratitude. It rested, digested, and let the ocean hold it there trusting that it could sit there as long as need be. After a pause, it tipped its head up and started the process all over again, with that breath of  “I can” intention. This was the process EACH time, no matter which pelican I watched or at what time of the day I ventured out.

Normally, especially as a vegetarian, I wouldn’t be very interested in watching an animal catch its food… but with each stroll on the beach the pelicans, these birds that probably aren’t thought about much or considered beautiful, showed me SUCH beautythe beauty of having a purpose and completely focusing upon it not seeming to need to be first, to be the best…but to just BE… to work as hard as needed to take flight… Thinking, knowing, “I CAN”… searching from a high vantage point, saying something like,  “I CAN dive with gusto right on point…yes, I CAN”… To wait for that important moment in order to make sure he or she had the perfect grip, and then to swallow it whole without hesitation…”I CAN…I am a Pel-i-CAN.” I realized they must have been named for that reason.

What a lesson…it refreshed me more than the warm weather and the beautiful beach! And these thoughts have been circulating in consciousness ever since.

I see that there is never even one day that these life lessons are not here right in front of us for the taking. Wow!

Thank you most humble, strong and beautiful pelicans for your example…and for this infinite Life Source that teaches me every day that we are all One…with the same lessons to glean, with the same spirit of wonder and resolve, with the same Source giving us everything we need in just the ways that we need.

written by Tien Stone Langlois, Director

Scholars Together Learning Community, Inc.

Leave a Reply