In My Own Back Yard
It has been quite a week so far.
Well, it seems that the Universe is smiling back at me because it just keeps giving.
Here is the story of the gift I received yesterday.
I moved into the apartment that I now live in on May 15th 2008. This was my third and last choice of neighborhoods that I wanted to live in, but I needed an apartment fast, and a friend of mine needed a roommate fast. I said yes without even seeing the suite. My roommate moved away for a job 4 months later, and much to my surprise, I ended up staying in the apartment that I thought I couldn’t afford.
I live about 4.5 km from down town, which for me is easy walking distance, a priority since I don’t own a car. I live just a couple of short blocks from a tiny winding river, a beautiful park and more wildlife than I ever knew existed within the city. It’s perfect!
A few days ago, I was exploring along the river bank and decided that I would just follow the bank even though there is no trail, and I had to push through fairly thick brush and avoid a lot of mud. I’m kind of wild that way.
This particular patch of riverbank, is only 40 feet away from a back lane that provides access to houses on the next street, but the growth is so thick that it’s easy to pretend that I’m in the forest miles from anywhere. This is how I found the tiny patch of ground that sticks out on the edge with just enough space for me to sit comfortably cross-legged before it drops off into the river. I decided that this is my new meditation spot until the mosquitoes mature and it becomes impossible to sit there without serious blood loss. I’ll take what I can get.
So early yesterday evening, I decided to head out there to meditate. I really wanted to take my camera, but The batteries died last week. I had bought replacements but of course, I couldn’t find them. I was pretty irritated about this, but anxious to get going, so I decided to forgo the camera this time.
A voice inside my head…(don’t worry, it was my own voice,) said, “but what if you see a deer?”. I responded, “It’s broad daylight. I won’t see a deer!” (I should also mention that while deer are very common around here, I haven’t seen one since last fall.)
When I got to the woods, the first thing I saw of course was a deer! I decided not to spoil the moment by kicking myself and sat down on a tree stump just to watch.
After a few minutes, it seemed to me that I was making her nervous. She had plenty of ways to walk away from me, without having to get closer, but she seemed intent on staying so I decided to leave her alone. I headed back up to the lane and headed off towards the park to access my spot from the opposite direction. Once I was in the lane, I thought I heard her walking away through the trees so I decided to back track and make another attempt.
She was nowhere to be found, but what I did find, sent me running back home for my camera. I’d remembered where I had put the batteries.
Much to my surprise, she was still there when I got back 30 minutes later.
Now, I’m not normally in the habit of putting myself in between a 200 lb animal and her offspring. But she let me! What’s more is the fact that she actually continued munching on the foliage while I took her baby’s first pictures. (Or, maybe I’m not the first and she’s a major exhibitionist? He’s pretty darn cute. Why shouldn’t she be proud?)
I was shaking so badly that most of the pics I took really suck, proving that under no conditions was I meant to be a wildlife photographer, but… WOW! I still can’t believe that I literally stumbled upon such a gift.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit frustrated over the fact that I can’t afford to travel anywhere, and haven’t for quite some years. I don’t usually allow myself to focus on what I don’t have, and I believe that all that I want or need is on it’s way.
And yet, when I pay careful attention to what is around me, there is clearly no need to escape.
Who needs to escape with what I’ve got going on in my back yard?