I look up and, right behind the white fence on the other side of my yard, a male deer, proud and sinuous antlers perched on his head, placidly eats prickly pears fallen from the bush. He lifts his head occasionally, scrutinizing the top of the hill; perhaps the rest of his family is nearby, perhaps he is assessing potential danger. I don’t stir; less than 30 feet from him, the deer is not aware of my presence behind the window, he is relaxed and at ease.
Neither do I get up to reach for the camera in fear of waking the dogs lying in repose next to me. A frenzied and pointless chase would ensue, Ottie perpetually looking up the hillside, sensing they are there, invading his territory. I have just been told my beloved dog might have cancer and my mood is as grey as the London tinged sky of this Saturday afternoon.
My eyes wander back to the page open in my lap. “It is late. Upstairs he closes the shutter, where the moon gapes in hollow-eyed, like a drunk lost in the street. Christophe, folding garments, says, “Is there loups? In this kingdom?”
“I think the wolves all died when the great forests were cut down. That howling you hear is only the Londoners”.”*
I re-read the passage a few times, taking in the images, the accents and the perfection of the English language.
I have been gifted two moments of grace when one would have sufficed. Too much, too much.
* Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel