Last week's rains were all but forgotten yesterday, with the air fresh and clear, the sky the color of a robin's egg, and a palette of greens overspreading the landscape. I found it impossible to stay indoors, so I called my friend, DiAnn, and we arranged to go for a walk near her home. Her neighborhood is quiet, with scattered houses and scant traffic, which, today, was a good thing.
DiAnn had just told me about her neighbors who feed the deer every day, when a rustling sound from the side of the road caught my attention. A tiny newborn fawn was there, moving slowly toward us on wobbly legs. I bent down and extended my hand, as I would for a dog, and the thin little creature came haltingly and sniffed my fingers. I think the fawn was too young for fear to guide its actions. Apparently, I wasn't the one it was looking for, because it moved slowly on into the road.
Neither DiAnn nor I had a camera with us, so she volunteered to run home for the cameras (hers at her house and mine in my car) while I kept track of the fawn. I watched as it crossed the road and entered the woods. It made its way a few yards into the woods and laid down beside a small log.
Some might surmise that the fawn was lost, but it is natural for a doe to leave a newborn while she browses. Most often, the fawn will stay in place until the doe returns. Newborns have no scent, which gives them a certain protection against predators.
DiAnn returned in her golf cart with our cameras, and I made my way, as quietly as I could over the dry leaves, to the place I had last seen the fawn. Sure enough, it was resting there, tucked into a ball, waiting for its Mother.
Any contact with a wild creature is amazing, but being so close to this small, vulnerable newborn melted our hearts. This may, quite likely, have been a once-in-a-lifetime encounter. For all three of us.
Maybe God gives us moments like this as gifts to remind us of His love and His care for all of creation. But in this place we call home, wonders are not limited to the once-in-a-lifetime variety. At various times of the year, we can see the Milky Way spilling across the sky, or watch snow pile into a white blanket. We can listen to a Mockingbird imitating the music around it, taste fresh clear water, touch a Wooly caterpillar, or smell the scent of wild spearmint, activated by our footsteps.
And so, from this place in the universe, for one tiny fawn, and for everyday wonders, I lift my heart in thanks.
In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
For another fawn story, click here.
Linking with Saturday's Critters