I awoke this morning
with devout thanksgiving for my friends,
the old and the new.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
We have a family of deer that visit us every morning at daybreak. Day’s end and day’s middle, too, sometimes.
A mother and two fawns- but they’re pretty grown up now. How time flies.
Oh, we get other deer, too. I’ve counted as many as dozen at a time, but these three are “our” deer. In my heart, they belong to me.
It’s hunting season. Our property backs up to a nature preserve, and yes, hunting is permitted. I awaken daily to the far-off and not-so-far-off sounds of gunshots. Men clad in camouflage and bright orange- why both? Are you hiding or being seen?- walk around with their shotguns. (Handguns are permitted as well.) For these weeks it is like living in a war zone. It is surreal.
I am not against the hunting, not really. There are so many deer in the area; better to be hunted and brought down quickly than to starve over the winter or be hit by a car. Everyone I know, it seems, has hit or almost hit a deer.
In addition, many area hunters donate the venison to food banks. While I have a hard time wrapping my mind around this notion of people who hunt purely for the sport of it, I acknowledge their service to the community.
But each morning, watching the sun rise from my kitchen window, when I see movement in the brush, I hold my breath and count.
One…two…three. All present. The family is intact, whole, for the dawning of a new day.
It is silly, I know. But every day I am thankful.
What “silly” things are you thankful for today?