After taking a brisk walk this morning, I rounded a bend to discover a small herd of deer nibbling along the frozen hill that rolls beyond my house. Nature has little left for them to search for. A few stained grasses under frost, dark dried berries hanging from a vine, and wilted leaves no longer crisp.
The course coats of the deer have turned a field-mouse grey in color for the winter. They match the mottled bark of trees that stand tall and stately in nearby woods. It is our tiny forest land. God has protected the deer with this coat of color from predators, the largest of which is MAN. The sight of of the deer is a gift to me. So majestic looking they are. They stop and stare, as do I. We freeze to look at one another. They wonder if I’ll hurt them while I gaze at their wonder.
Last spring I was blessed to discover a fawn, no bigger than a sleeping cat under a backyard tree. A mother doe had just given birth before running away. She took newborn odor with her to ensure infant’s safety. For me, it was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ sight. I sat beside the fawn knowing not to let my fingers touch. My eyes looked into his while he looked into mine. He had not yet been taught the fear of, Man.
A few days later the mother doe drifted into my lush green lawn with her baby fawn beside her then. The doe limped with a broken leg, yet she went on to struggle up the hill. The small herd of deer didn’t wait, instead they passed her by. I could hardly bear to watch, wondering if she and her fawn would survive. It was an act of nature that only God would decide.
In the cold and breaking light of dawn today, I saw these ‘deer’ friends of mine. The mother’s broken leg had mended. It was crooked; she couldn’t run, but she walked well and fast. Quickly, she met the herd up on the hill. They paused to wait for her. Her fawn was no longer small. No, he had grown big and strong. Grey in color, too, like his mottled mother.
The sight of such reminded me of all mothers near and far. God gives them an innate sense to take care of their young. The species doesn’t matter: nor the circumstance, nor their place in this world. Mothers are here to feed and protect. They will go without food or walk forever if they must.
Just as the doe limped up the hill to forge a mark in the herd for her fawn, all mothers do the same…everywhere.