|©2017 ML Monroe|
When for too long I don't go deep enough into the woods to see them, they begin to enter my dreams. Yes, there they are, in the pinewoods of my inner life. I want to live a life full of modesty and praise. Each hoof of each animal makes the sign of a heart as it touches then lifts away from the ground. Unless you believe that heaven is very near, how will you find it? Their eyes are pools in which one would be content, on any summer afternoon, to swim away through the door of the world. Then, love and its blessing. Then: heaven.
~ Mary Oliver
New and Selected Poems: Volume Two
My final evening visiting friends in Arizona, I stepped out on the back porch with my cell phone softly belching 'on hold' music. The air was fresh, cool and clear. Birds chirped and chattered. I turned the noise even softer. Distracted, I walked toward the end of the porch. Movement in the side yard caught my attention. Two young mule deer munched on greenery. I ended the phone call.
I stood still, staring at the two deer. One kept turning toward me. The other moved forward to munch on the leaves hang in front of the face turned in my direction. Not a great move. The first deer turned from watching me to rise up on his hind legs and push his sibling away. As the intruding deer moved away to find his own green space, the first deer turned his gaze toward me, and stepped in my direction. I stood quiet staring back, watching him prance one, two, three steps closer. I lifted my phone, opened the camera, and took the above picture.
As Mary Oliver says, When...I don't go deep enough...to see them, they begin to enter my dreams. Yes, there they are, in the pinewoods of my inner life. I breathed deeply, held myself as still as my muscles could manage, returned the direct stare of the gentle mule deer.
The deer showed up strongly as I prepared to travel on from this place. This lovely encounter opens to several meanings. The deer sees between shadows and hear what hasn't been said. It is sensitive, intuitive and in touch with the mysteries of life. It has the magical capacity to regenerate as well as pass through life and obstacles with grace. Its gentle vigilance teaches me to stay relaxed, at ease and aware.
I'm grateful for the coming of the deer. Much of my travel has focused on Ancient Peoples sites and stories. I'm grateful also for what they have taught and shared about the animals and land around them.
What creatures have recently showed up in your life? What of themselves are they sharing with you? How will you incorporate their message for you? How often do you find yourself acknowledging or even noticing the elements of nature around you?