Saturday, February 2, 2008

Something Else's Walk

Sometimes nothing happens on the walks. The sky simply turns from blue to gray, the wind picks up and bites at the places where minutes earlier the sun felt warm and pleasant and the traffic does what the traffic does, which is move from either right to left or left to right. Duncan does his thing, which is sniff lots of places, raise his leg on one or two of them and then we go back inside because I wore a sweatshirt when I should have put on a coat. Those are the throw-away walks; they're not even walks really, just slow, casual meanderings up and down the lawn between the building and Bowles while I wait for Duncan tend to his business. Sometimes there's a rabbit but most times there are not, so we simply come inside where Duncan sits at my feet while I make tea, talk on the phone or write at the computer. Those are the walks that make me sweat, make me think, This is day I have nothing to say and they'll all see me for the fraud I am.

But sometimes, when it's one of those days, if you pay attention, the universe will bring the walk to you.

We were sitting in the living room listening to Wagner's Das Rheingold, Duncan near my lap but not on top of me, Winnie on the back of the couch doing that roll-around thing she does when she wants my attention but won't let me touch her, when I noticed something move outside past the patio. At first I thought it another of the countless morons who live nearby and don't pick up after their dogs, but it moved slowly, with trepidation and when I looked up, standing not ten feet away, on the other side of the patio doors, stood a tall and lean doe, her ears raised, staring right back at me. Were I at my mother's house in Idaho, I would not have been the slightest bit surprised, after all, her house sits at the foot of a mountain and I've spent many a winter afternoon watching the deer move through her yard. Even in Lake Forest deer were common. But I can't think of a singer time since we moved her nearly nine years ago that I've seen a deer down in the city. It felt like a treat, something special, especially because she was looking at me as intently as I was looking at her.

She took a hesitant step forward, never looking away, not even when Duncan raised himself off the couch and approached the window. Her white tail flicked twice and she moved forward out of our sight. Duncan and I followed into the dining room where she was standing in front of the window watching us. I hurried into the office to grab my camera, but by the time I turned it on she'd moved past, down the yard and behind the building. I can only hope she crossed into the golf course and stayed away from Bowles completely.

We stared after her and I think we both realized that this afternoon the world was not part of our walk but we were part of something else's walk.


Amber said...

How bizzare! Always keep your camera phone handy, that would have been a great picture to see.

Amber said...

BTW...where is that spell check you were telling me about:)

Traci said...

Wagner? Really? I think the doe was running from the music.