I was out walking on a trail near our house this morning, putting one foot in front of the other, when I looked up and saw four sets of big eyes looking back at me. A small herd of young bucks stood less than 20 feet away. I came to a slow stop and said a hushed hello. They stared, alert. I stared, in awe. Below and behind them the Columbia River flowed to the sea. Above us a hawk circled. My step count stayed where it was for over ten minutes while I watched them watching me, their short sets of antlers looking fuzzy and harmless.
Earlier, a former co-worker’s post on Facebook convinced me that I should watch the footage of George Floyd’s death. I couldn’t get past the first time he said he couldn’t breathe. I know he calls out for his mother, and as a mother my privileged heart is already wrenched. I don’t want to be broken beyond the ability to function today, so I confess: I stopped watching and instead went for a run/walk, ending up here next to a field of deer.
For a few moments I forgot about everything happening in this pandemic- stricken, riotous world and just stood very still, a standing meditation. Two of the bucks got bored and wandered into the woods. The other two went back to eating the leaves off the trees, and finally, I walked back up the hill toward home, thankful I can breathe in all this clean air, that I can breathe at all. I don’t want to take it for granted, not any of it.
Now I’m home, still a bit awestruck at the end of the day, ready to write. Writing helps me pay attention. How about you?
Have you written today? It’s not too late.