Growing up in Virginia, I have watched deer with reverence ever since I can remember. To see a deer made the day special whether we had just gone for a walk at Great Falls or driven to the Shenandoah Mountains for a hike near Big Meadow.  Now I feel sad when people only refer to deer as a nuisance to their gardens.  It can still take my breath away to see their gentle eyes, graceful legs, and sweetly-spotted babies.

The deer come when I need them.

Three deer came forth from the woods near our house the day that Stephen was diagnosed with cancer.  One looked up and our eyes locked.  It’s message seemed to be acknowledging how fragile life can be.

My first job as a reading teacher began with a five-deer sighting along the highway.  That affirmed, for me, an important shift in my life.  A new job, a new school, a new me.  Blessed by deer.

Once at twilight, years ago soon after my father died, I saw deer in the snow near the Little League fields.  I pulled into the parking lot to get a closer look.  I rolled down my window and was just watching and listening to the quiet when a police car pulled up behind me.  Apparently, I shouldn’t have been in the parking lot when it wasn’t baseball season.  I told the officer that I saw the deer and just wanted to enjoy the sight.  He said I had to move along.

Three deer grazed outside the hospital last Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m.  I had just spent seven hours with my daughter in the Emergency Room.  She was gravely ill from Dengue Fever contracted in Honduras.  The deer brought a bit a of beauty, a bit of calm, a bit of surprising joy.  Such a comfort.

The deer come when I need them.

6 thoughts on “March 1, 2014

  1. I certainly hope your daughter is ok? We just spent a month in Honduras with our two young girls… Please take care. How powerful that you can connect such hope to a single sighting of a deer and are awake and aware to notice it, many would let it pass them by without noticing it. Be well and take care.

  2. Welcome Marilyn, What a lovely first slice about a topic that I love as well. I grew up with deer all around us and when I moved closer to New York City, they continue to surround me. I still have to be extra careful driving up and down Mountainview.

  3. Wow. What a powerful post.
    These lines really resonate with me.
    “The deer come when I need them.”

    A poem

    The deer come when I need them.
    The fisher cats, foxes, chipmunks and squirrels –
    they scatter to the wind at the sound of my voice
    whenever I wander out amidst the forest, in need
    of some reprieve from what life has tossed my way.
    These days, it seems, I wander far and wide, just wondering
    where there might be some small points of peace
    and it is only when I allow myself the silence that I find it,
    looking up to see that once again, there they are:
    The deer, they come when I need them.


  4. WOW!!
    I love your first slice. You probably did not see any deer as we both sat in the front summers ago to learn right from Lucy but their spirit was with us!
    I’m glad I inspired you to write. YOU have stories to tell!!

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