There is a doe who lives in the woods behind our barn. In the summer, we often see her and her new fawn make their way down through the ferns to cross the road at the bottom of our hill. Sometimes, she leaves the fawn behind, nestled at the base of a shadowed pine, waiting in utter stillness for her return at dusk. In the evenings, when I return from work, I drive slowly up the hill, hoping to catch a glimpse of them in the fading light.
A few weeks ago, as my car crept quietly up the drive, I spotted her silhouette among the trees. I stopped when I was even with her and rolled down the window hoping to get a better view. She stood, not moving, staring back at me. Then to the right, I saw the fawn partially hidden in the brush. He moved closer to the doe and I saw that there was a second fawn behind him. Twins! I was thrilled to see them both. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. But then something else caught my eye; there was yet a third fawn trailing further back. Three of them, three fawns. How could that be? I sat there for I don’t know how long, just looking, none of us moving. I quietly took my phone from my bag, hoping to get a photo but the light was quickly fading and the foliage was thick where they stood. I snapped a few, knowing that I wasn’t going to get much and would have to just hold the image in my mind. Then, with the window open and my eyes still on this little miracle, I inched the car reluctantly away.
The next day, I tried to write down how I felt about what I had experienced the night before. I was able to get almost all of it on paper but then found myself stuck at the end. I put it away, frustrated that I couldn’t find the words to finish my thoughts. This morning, during meditation, I heard the last two lines in my mind. As soon as I could, I took out my IPad and finished the poem.
Is It A Vanity
There she is.
See her, down in the hollow? The white of her rump and tail Glowing in the dusky light.
Sshhh. Be quite or she’s gone.
See the little spotted one behind her?
And look, there’s another.
So still, looking back and waiting.
But oh my, another!
How can that be?
Surely, this is a sacred thing.
Is it a vanity
For me to believe
Has placed this mystical quartet
Here at this place,
In this moment,
Solely to squeeze my heart
With their grace and beauty?
To knead and soften
The hardened scars
That keep it closed tight?
But these purposeful gifts are everywhere.
Left for those whose hearts are ripe to receive them.
So it is not a conceit to think
This gentle offering
Was meant for me alone.
For I am made of Heavenly stuff
And worthy of the Universe.