Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hardwood Forest, February 1, 1993

Where the deer sleep at night... The following is from my first printed newsletter, February, 1993

My wife Jean, my daughter Lucy and I live on 11 acres at the edge of Eureka Springs with our land bordering on a much larger area of mixed hardwood and pine forest. It is our greatest pleasure when this season of cold weather and no bugs arrives, to walk in our woods. For Lucy, the greatest thrill is to go where ”the deer sleep at night.” For a three year old the greatest adventures are found very close to home, in fact, at the top of the hill just above it. Hand-holding is a must do for the journey up, with slippery oak leaves on the steep slope. At the top is an area of tall slender pines with the ground deep in needles.

There we find circular areas where the deer lay down to sleep. It has the feel of sacred ground and I have a sense of intruding. From it paths lead in several directions, with the deer’s footsteps remembered as small tears in the thick blanket of needles, the path itself discernible not as much by markings but by a quality best described as the light of a sliver of moon on water. We sit where they sleep. A small flat stone is for Lucy their pillow. We listen for their return.

It is truly a marvel that such places exist such few steps from one’s normal consciousness. Once people journeyed from their forests and fields to wonder at the majesty of great cathedrals. Now perhaps it is time to leave our homes and shopping malls to discover the majesty of wilderness. Please watch carefully for slippery oak leaves on steep slopes. Then come with us to where the deer sleep at night.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:25 AM

    Beautifully written piece. No doubt, Lucy has never forgotten that special place.