I come down to replenish the fire. The library’s warmth reaches out to greet me.
There are no spare logs. I will need some later.
So I step out onto the front porch, just to fetch a log or two from the woodbox there.
The silence reaches out and greets me, and I am charmed.
So chill. But I am wearing a snuggly sweater, and knee socks below my skirt.
“Seize the opportunity!” says my soul.
And so I sit. And the brook across the road, beyond the veil of arborvitae hedge, gurgles and bubbles, fountain-like, rare sound. It usually either rushes, hard and loud, banging rocks together, or trickles barely heard.
As I welcomed the room’s warmth behind me, now I welcome the penetrating cool of this outdoor air. But in both cases what I’m really welcoming most is the surprising stillness…
…enough even to put up with the mosquito circling now. I pull the scarf from my shoulders over my head and tight around my ears, hunch up my mock neck higher, and listen to passing geese in flight breaking the quiet a moment, then gone. Then I am returned to hearing just that melody of tiny cascades over pebbles and rocks.
The geese have gathered in community and return with increased honking, while the brook sound of rocks and water seems to morph into the sound of footsteps.
They are footsteps!
I stand and step forward myself and then I see them: two deer, two sizes, most likely mother and near-grown fawn—entering the meadow just beyond me to my left.
They see me. But they simply slip behind a pine for a sense of privacy. Back in my porch seat I can glimpse them if I like, now and then, between the leaves and branches.
But we ignore each other. They graze in peace. And so do I.