Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Deer were out this morning.

I was in a fog of half-sleep this morning when I rolled out the door, but put my muffin body on cruise control and padded down the driveway. By the time I got to the mailbox, cool air had begun to clear my thoughts. Not a lot. But at least I was able to take quick inventory and make sure I had my shorts on.

About fifteen minutes into the run, I came around a curve and startled a sorority of deer. Five of the girls were out secretly hunting squirrels or whatever it is that deer do at dawn when they think no one is watching. One doe stood me off as her sisters bounded into the safety of the palmetto forest. The sentry of the group threatened me by affixing me in her unwavering gaze and stamping one foot repeatedly in warning. But I wasn’t threatened by her. I was enthralled. I felt a little guilty. She was trying so hard to look rough and tough. Out of respect, I thought I should probably whimper and cower and beg for my life. I wanted her to feel good about herself. But instead, I stood quietly about ten feet from her and just studied big doe eyes. Finally, she tired of the showdown, turned, and with one silent leap, vanished. And I resumed my trot.

I love running in the morning. One never knows what great things might happen. With the deer-encounter, I was suddenly fully alive and charged up. No matter what horror and stupidity befall this day now, I will have this magic to hold in my heart. This is one of the gifts of running. It gives you the best first.

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