I was driving to school this morning on a country road. At one point, I was vaguely aware of a cornfield to my right, full of old, yellow stalks. Suddenly a deer comes out of the corn and leaps the fence, clambering onto the road. I slammed on my brakes and saw the doe pass by about fifteen feet in front of my bumper.
“Oh my God, I could have killed that beautiful animal! How could I live with myself?” My mind zoomed back forty years to another country road, in Alberta, and the sickening sight in my rearview mirror of a red fox flying through the air. He died on the asphalt and I was undone in grief.
“Do no harm, Bruce.” That’s been a mantra of mine for many a moon. Killing a living being, even unintentionally, is a gross example of harm, but so is ignoring someone at a party or not opening a door for a struggling senior.
There was the beauty of the being bounding over the fence. There was the sacredness of life. There was blood and ruin in my mind. There was transcendence of our earthly fetters. There was love. Thoughts mingled and twisted. All springing from a single moment in time.
Part of me doesn’t want to soar on the wings of ten seconds here, ten seconds there. “It’s too tiring.” A wiser Bruce, however, says to feel it all … because all will come my way.
We leap again