I had not seen a deer on the beach before. And she was alone. The deer in my and my neighbors’ yards were usually in groups of three, sometimes as many as six.
My pup and I were sitting on a log about forty feet from her when she saw us. I had Lyric sit at my feet, so as not to scare her. She looked at us for a minute or so, then stepped elegantly in to the gentle waves of the incoming tide. She walked out into deeper water, up to her belly.
Was she washing something off? She walked out further, and appeared to be swimming. Was something wrong? She moved her head back and forth.This looked and felt wrong.
Lyric tried to run down to the edge of the water where she was.
“Come Lyric. Let’s let her be, she won’t come in if we stand here.” I knew I was talking to myself at that point. Lyric returned to the spot on the shore closest to her a couple more times.
We walked about 10 more minutes in the southeast direction of the beach. The wind was getting colder, I turned around and Lyric galloped to catch up with me.
When we got near to where the doe had gone in the water, I saw a dark shape floating about fifty feet or so out. It was her body. Lyric knew something was wrong. He ran down to the edge of the water and looked out at her.
Why would a doe drown herself? I was numbed. I called to Lyric as I walked back the way we’d come. He came to me, then ran back to where the doe was floating. He came when I called him and we kept walking.
What could I have done?
Perhaps I did it: witness. An act of nature, a peaceful ending. What were the chances I would be a mile down the beach from the entry point, at 1:15 in the afternoon on this particular day?
A couple days later was my birthday. A marvelous day, one of the most memorable of my life. My cherished friend, Terra Lea, came over, got us a delicious lunch of fish tacos which we ate at Fort Casey State Park, walked our pups on the seemingly endless beach, chased our pups, and talked. A witness and celebrant of my special day.
To be present for someone else. Perhaps no action is required except your presence. I bet you can list a myriad of occasions when you have witnessed for someone else, perhaps not even aware of it at the time.
Ah yes, be present. Be the light.