Yesterday morning, while cleaning the upstairs bathroom, I caught a flash of something moving in the field in our backyard. As I walked closer to the window, I saw a deer off in the distance munching on the leaves of a sumac tree. All of a sudden, she turned her head and I quickly realized that she was a he when I caught sight of his soft, velvety antlers.
I ran downstairs to find my camera and when I got back to the window, not only did I find the buck, I found this:
I was so excited, I could barely hold the camera still as I did my best to capture the moment. It’s pretty rare to see one buck during the day, let alone two!
Once I snapped a few pictures, I put the camera down and stared back at one who was now looking straight at me. He stayed for several minutes and as we locked eyes I felt a rush of energy fill my body.
You can always count on nature to provide a spiritual experience. Like the buck with bionic ears, I felt pulled into the moment, suddenly alert to everything around me. My mind went silent. I wasn’t thinking about the day ahead or face masks or news headlines.
Actually, I wasn’t thinking at all. Instead, I was present to the experience before me.
At the end of the day, that’s what life asks of us – to be present to the show unfolding in front of us moment-to-moment. Whether it’s something extraordinary like bucks in a field or something hard like tending to a loved one who’s not well, our greatest calling is to be here now.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent much of my life imposing my will on reality. I want life to unfold the way I want it to unfold. I want to be happy. I want to feel safe. I want to be at peace. I want my days to be meaningful, fulfilling, and rich.
I want, I want, I want and I’ve expended so much energy trying to make life be what I want it to be that I’ve often missed the blessings right in front of me.
Fortunately, that’s changing. Nature has been such a beautiful teacher, especially during the pandemic. She offers me a real-life, daily meditation practice. This morning, for example, I watched a young squirrel dig a hole under a bush and rest there for a while. I studied dragonflies dancing in the air. I listened to the rain as it poured down from the heavens dancing on the metal roof overhead and soaking the land with much-needed water.
One of the great gifts of this period in time is learning to live in harmony with reality. To accept and embrace what’s happening without judgment, knowing that in doing so, I’ll be better able to handle anything that comes my way.
This week, I’m grateful for deer medicine and a call from Mother Nature who says, “Come home. Stick around for the best show in town.”
This present moment.