best of 2009: moment of wonder

I’m trying something new for me this month, a web community challenge: Gwen Bell’s The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. Find the best the year has offered me, and review, remember, contemplate, reflect, and celebrate it. There’s a question/topic each day.

Today’s prompt is December 8 — Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude…The state of your mind? How did you get there?

There are a few deer who frequent my backyard off and on during the year. They live in the woods that are around the houses here. One is a lame doe (she manages very nicely on her three good legs, thank you). who brings her offspring around each year. I Iike to watch from the kitchen window, and sometimes I try to photograph them, though I generally can’t get very close or they run off. They seem more tolerant of Juliet-kitty, so I also have to watch out that she doesn’t wander too close. Juliet is getting very brave with the visitors and has started moving slowly towards them a few times, especially when there is only one in the yard.

One afternoon in October, a young deer was in the yard along with Juliet and I was watching from the side stoop, trying not to startle it. But Juliet was curious about the visitor and edging closer. I moved out slowly and spoke softly, trying to entice Juliet to come back to me and also hoping not to run off the deer. Juliet ignored me, but the deer looked up and watched me. And it remained in place. I never got right up to it, but I did get fairly close. Then afraid to spook it, I stopped and we looked at each other for a few seconds. My moment of wonder…this was not a tame tenant of a petting zoo, but an animal of the wild. And I’m a city-raised kid and kind of clunky and clutzy…I never get near to the wildlife in my yard. I felt a bit of awe getting closer to its sphere. Then I retreated carefully, slowly, gently so that it would stay, which it did a while more, before it moved off back to the woods and wandered on.

This is Juliet and one of the deer, not that day. I was nearer to the deer for our encounter, probably as close as Juliet is here.