Sunday, September 8, 2013

A moment of wonder

One fall morning I was walking through an old cedar grove. The path sloped up a short incline. I remember looking up, and just at that moment, a doe stepped into view at the top of the hill. We both stood stock still, caught in a strange attraction. The doe was about 100 yards away, yet close enough that I could take in her solid buff body, her elegant legs, and the thick white dish mop tail. She turned her body fully towards me, as if to show off her heart-breaking eyes, the large flat nose, and her two leafy ears pointed at me, alert with questions.

I held my breath, suspended in time and space.

Photo: Desktop Nexus
Some caution warned her and she wheeled away. Meanwhile the morning sun slipped through the trees, striping the boulders and the ancient cedars. I dropped my eyes to the trail and continued walking. The doe faded in my mind, replaced by the enchantment of a star-shaped mushroom, the delicate feathering of moss and a rusting abandoned sled.

I looked up the hill, and there she was again. She stood slightly off the path, her neck stretched out for one more look. Once again, we gazed at one another. Once again the moment stretched and swelled. Finally, she decided, firmly, that I was not to be trusted. She raised her left front leg, stamped the ground, then turned and flashed the dish mop at me and sprang away.

I crested the hill and came into a clearing. The doe had vanished, but a large maple, its leaves burning orange and yellow, seemed to be shaking with laughter.

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