Today I woke early, it was raining, and I was drawn out to the screen tent in the yard to journal and pray and connect with our land. I was writing about a dream when suddenly I was startled by a loud huffing sound, and looked up to see a deer jumping into the brush and trees at the back of our yard. I didn’t see where she had come from, but wondered if she had ventured into the yard, and then suddenly was startled by noticing me in the screen tent.
I kept peering into the bushes all around the back of our yard looking for her, but all was quiet. And then I saw her head peering over the bushes at the west corner of our space, perfectly still, almost invisible. I would never have seen her if I hadn’t been looking so intently. She was peering back at me. I silently sent her a message–I honor you, I won’t hurt you, I am sorry I scared you. Thank you for being here. And then she moved away into the little woods of undeveloped land behind the houses on our street.
I sat for quite a while longer, astonished and moved, and pondering how the wild creatures might be passing through at any time, or watching us when we least expect it. Even right here in Portland. I thought about the future of this space, how this year we are observing everything we can about the land, and also asking the land, what do you want for our partnership? Margy and I had been talking about maybe a little orchard in the sunny space just behind the house, and maybe vegetable beds in the side yard which was also sunny. Maybe further back a pond for frogs and other creatures to drink from, and maybe a fire circle.
This morning I felt how sacred this space really is, already. How lucky I feel that we were able to find this place and move here. And how wonderful to be imagining the ways we can bless this land and be blessed by it. I had a new thought, too–perhaps we can invite folks into this shady space at the back for learning together about how we journey into earth community.
Then I came into the house, intent to blog about all this. I was looking on my laptop for possible photos to use with this posting. Suddenly our cat Billie jumped up to the window behind me and was looking into the back yard, and so I looked too. And there was the deer, standing in plain view at the back of the yard, looking toward the house. I went around to our back door, and even opened the door and looked back at the deer. She watched for the longest time. And let me take this photo.
Oh earth, you never cease to amaze me!