I went for an early morning hike up my mountain: the sun fresh in a new sky, the air crisp and clean from a night of thunder and rain, the hillsides verdant with life and dotted by fragile wildflower rainbows waving in a cool breeze. Maya darted back and forth in front of me as we hiked hard, up steep elevations, winding to the top. We took the descent at a full run, breathing deep and strong. That is when I saw them, a herd of twenty or more deer speeding down a ravine and arcing up the hill on which I stood. I stopped, mid-run, awed by so much grace, agility and freedom. I quietly followed the trail toward them and they toward me. I paused again as they came closer into view, regal and wild; fawns and mothers and maybe a male or two, though no antlers were visible yet. They crested the hill, silhouetted against an early, pale blue sky and everything changed. They stopped and one turned and stared at me as I stared, open hearted and amazed, back. Suddenly I understood that I was not alone. I could not be alone. In fact, the notion of my loneliness and grief was ludicrous. The breeze blew, intimate, caressing, tender and sweet, exposed and unabashed. The earth underfoot, held me, would always hold me and catch me when I fell. Life is my lover and there is no limit to my lovers arms; my lovers hands are loyal and eternal. The deer looked at me as I gazed back, my heart breaking with love- LIFE loving LIFE. Life loving life. Without end. Without beginning. In that moment I realized that my lover couldn't deny me entry at love's threshold. It is an impossibility. My lover, Life, is intimate beyond my imaginings, formless expressed form and I am never, never, outside that love. I could never be. I am immersed in that love, formed by that love, breathing in that love, alive AS that love. What I have been looking for was so close I simply couldn't see it.
In the still morning air. In the eyes of a deer. Caressed by the wind. I remember.