When we got up temperatures were just above freezing, and they were predicted to be dropping all day long. The animals needed feeding, and the dogs were frisky in the cool drizzle. When your personal trainers are dogs, you never get a day off from exercise, no matter the weather or day of the week.
I bundled up in a sweater with a long hoodie over it and a fleece-lined leather coat over that. I pulled up the hood of the hoodie and turned up the stout collar of the jacket. I looked like a giant colorful vagabond impersonating a marshmallow.
We trundled off into the fields. As we were crossing the back pasture we startled several deer, who leaped over a fence and began racing across the pasture. I fumbled for the phone with my cold hands, snapping a series of terrible pictures. By the time I got the deer in the camera’s field of view, they were quite far away.
Squint. You can see three deer running across the field. The one at the back is leaping. This is not the world’s best photo, but think of it as a painting, where the artist blurs things, but still indicates the deer. Then it is lovely.
We see deer a lot. They bed down in the thicket, drink from the creek, and graze in the meadows in early morning and late afternoon. Deer startle easily, but they never look scared when they run. They prance along, looking back over their shoulders to see if you are silly enough to give chase. Sometimes the dogs are that silly, tearing along after them. The deer prance along a bit more and disappear in the distance, while the dogs come panting home to sleep all afternoon.
Interesting how deer are not scared when they run. If they are cornered they could be very scared, since grazing animals don’t have much in the way of defense in a fight. But running is something they do with grace and joy.
What is your natural reaction when facing something scary? If you want to be successful, do what is in your nature to do. If you are a deer you will run gracefully away. I run awkwardly and slowly, so I need a different response.
It is hard to know how to react to the situations in which you find yourself. Caregiving serves up situations never anticipated by Miss Manners. Following your natural inclination is the best you have to go on.