contributed by Tommy Tye
The September morning made grand promises, teasing me with hints of the coming fall. I drifted down in the darkness to the the edge of the woods behind my home. It’s my special place to sit and watch the sunrise and get the news from the woodland telegraph.
Rich experiences abound, even near a suburban home. And bathing in Nature feels far more rewarding than drowning in misinformation and depressing reports from the Daily Disaster or the Thoughtless Tribune. The forest is so alive, and I can’t help but feel more alive when I am there. And it never tries to sell me things I don’t need or tell me what to think.
Or who to be.
I wasn’t in stealth mode though, and my ambling sent three deer porpoising through the tall, dew-wet grass. My senses blossomed even as my thoughts fled to the Nothing where they belong. Oh, that soundless bounding! Our nostrils flared and our lungs filled and my heart ran wide-eyed with the deer.
I am in love with that moment, a puppy licking gravy off a plate.
I snuggled up to my water oak and watched the Sun kiss his way lovingly over the face of the Earth. I’d been sitting quietly for 20 minutes or so and really don’t know what made me turn my head. There was no sound of footfalls, no flash of movement in my peripheral vision, but something told me, “Look there, NOW!”
I had begun listening more closely to what the birds say and maybe my subconscious heard an alarm call. But, I suspect it was more of a feeling, a sense of change in energy.
As I turned my head to the right, I saw a splash of burnished red moving behind the high grass. With fey grace, this long, slender creature trotted by, bold as brass, not more than 20 yards away. I can still see the long, thick, white-tipped tail streaming out behind and the way it held it’s head down as if it were trying to get by without being noticed.
It seems unlikely to me that this wary little Red Fox didn’t notice the big monkey sitting in it’s living room. I bet many’s the time that it waited me out or sneaked around me in the bush. But that day, it’s as if it trusted me just enough to go about it’s business discreetly but directly. I felt as though I’d been through some kind of rite of passage or admitted to a secret society.
Or received a blessing.
I don’t need anyone to tell me what to think about that.