it seems each afternoon I go up before sunset and sit in the woods for a few hours. while I am supposed to be hunting, most of the time, I have a sketchbook out in my hand and am working through the various solutions to some business ideas and problems. what usually happens is that in time, my brain and heart slow down and I find myself simply marveling at the beauty, complexity, and interaction of nature with my human senses. the heat of the sun, the sound of the wind through the trees and an abundance of getting to watch birds, squirrels, chipmunks and lots of wild turkey going about their day. what I don’t see is deer.
as I walked up into the woods, I see plenty of deer tracks right in the backyard around the empty bird feeder. I wondered, “where are all the deer that make the tracks? what time do they make these tracks?"
explaining this to my folks last night while the nightly fun of watching my dad's head knod off to sleep as if he is a bobblehead -with his blanket over his hands and his feet doing a little happy dance of sorts on the recliner footrest. my mom stares at me with the look of, "now you see what my entertainment is each night?"
I asked her if they had bird food for the feeder. did they want me to get some at the store?
ironically, my sleeping father awakens, mid-snore. we think he has some sort of magical hearing ability, and announces, no, “no need to get us any, we have some already.”
“ok, I was going to get it some as I notice your bird feeders were empty.”
“empty, I just filled it?”
“well, there were deer tracks there, so I am confused where they are during the day. should I get up in the morning and try?”
it was at that moment, beyond the Christmas decorations and lights illuminating the back yard that are now up to give them fun pleasure till Christmas I see a faint outline of what appears to be some white face and two ears just eating away at the bird feeder. seeming to be smiling at me. it was a deer eating from the bird feeder, as if to say, "where is the birdseed? all i have here is some leftovers from the squirrel."
“I think the deer are mocking me” was my comment
“why do you say that?” asked mom.
“well? if you look out the window right now at the bird feeder, there is a deer laughing at me”
my mom and dad got up and go to the window like two little kids looking for santa's sleigh in the sky. they smiled and enjoyed the deer and soon joined in and had a nice laugh at my expense. “oh mark, there is the deer, look she is saying hello to you!”
we all laughed and watched the deer just looking for some bird food or stray seeds left over by the squirrels spilling them out as a reward for climbing the pole. then the deer had enough and walked up the hill but not before tweaking her tail one time, seemingly for me, “hi mark. hope you sleep well tonight….nice to see you. thanks for putting up the lights so I can have a seeming candlelight dinner at the birdfeeder!”
I guess this is why I do want to live in nature instead of a packed urban environment. there is a seeming different frequency to life when you place yourself in what is created naturally versus the man-made spaces.