This Easter morning I walked my two youngest Labs, Scout and Kenyon, the 4-mile round trip to pick up my Starbucks. En-route I saw a truck hit a deer as he crossed the road. The driver's bumper sustained enough damage to cause it to fall off but he was able to drive away. Although I saw the deer skip into the nearby wood I was not convinced, as I wanted to be, he would fair as well so I watched him and he watched me.
I did not have my phone or my car so I walked the 30 minutes home and called the local police and agreed to meet them back where I saw the deer enter the wood. As I waited for the officer to arrive I saw the deer laying down now so I made my way towards him and found him dead. What a beautiful animal, I thought sadly.
I suspect from his size and small antlers, he was a child. I had seen three dear, two adults and a child, in this area before. I left him there when I saw two other deer waiting nearby. As I waited by my car I saw other deer come to his body and remain there.
I was reminded of when Bear, sister to my 14 1/2 year old Paws, died last year and I arranged to have Paws and then Scout spend time with Bear's body. Kenyon was not part of our family then. It matters to let them know what happened to their mate or child - always their friend.
The police officer arrived and was genuinely relieved to know the deer was dead otherwise he would have to shoot it, per policy. I felt compassion for this officer in that moment as we both stood in silence with that emotion hanging between us. We ask a lot from those who are the guardians of our safety and our country.
Deer standing over the body of fallen child.
This day represents loss, love, and forgiveness in the most poignant, direct, and committed way possible.
The message today is to live deeply and with commitment if you have the courage to do so. If not, then please just stop complaining and move back into the shadows where you stay hidden. Or step up and make a difference where you can when you can. I entitled the side-bar, "Those Who Do" for a reason. Consider donating twenty-five dollars today in someone's name to honor them and then tell them you did so and why.
Today is in honor of those who do and for those we miss who did for us. I find solace in thinking of that beautiful deer greeted by my Bear in a warm, golden field not too far away.
In gratitude for this day,