From the driver’s seat of our John Deere Gator, I focused on a radiant red cardinal flower. A moment later, movement in the field caused a sway in the blossoms.
Her closeness surprised me. She batted her tail at a fly, looked around, and came closer. Quietly. Calmly. Unafraid. As if she already knew me, which is possible. I’m positive our animal neighbors closely watch us.
I looked at her and said, “Hello, lovely one.”
That’s when . . .
. . .she came closer yet.
If you know me, it won’t surprise you that I kept talking out loud to her and the Lord. She ate wildflower leaves as if being in that place with me was as normal as the spots on her young back. When she tried and spit out a coneflower petal, I giggled. She chose another leaf and moved closer to me.
Not wanting to keep her mother from her, I started our old Gator, which is ruggedly loud, and backed it up. I expected her to bound gracefully away.
Instead, she followed me across the driveway towards the other field, where she again flicked flies and, this time, munched on the leaves of small self-seeded trees in the grass. She enjoyed them very much.
I continued talking to her, and she didn’t seem to mind. I got off the Gator and walked near the other field. She followed, taking a bite of this and that along the way, drawing ever closer. She paused to sniff the air in my direction as if adding my scent to her internal knowledge of me.
When she was less than a foot away, she sniffed toward my hand, and I almost reached out to her but resisted. I left being touched by her up to her. She came close enough, and I felt her breath on my hand.
A sweet privilege.
Then she frolicked the way young animals do – with sweet abandon and joy.
After about an hour with her, she turned to go. Perhaps she heard her mother call her the way mine used to when a day of play was over, and it was near my bedtime. I whispered, “Goodbye, Blessing, I love you,” and took one last photo.
Until Next Time,