As the sun peeks up over the horizon each morning, I give thanks for the day and wish the best of life to everything and everyone with whom I will share this day. The world continues on its predictable patterns and so do I. In spite of dramatic weather forecasts of heat, drought and Hurricane Irene for other parts of the country, Ozark Americans are waking to sunshine, blue skies and comfortably warm temperatures - and I am grateful!
This is the last Friday of August. The sun began to light my world two hours ago. Morning rays are low over the horizon - slanting through the still-green trees and resting on my front porch. The newly padded wicker chairs are like theater seats where I am the audience waiting for the performers to arrive. And here they come now....
Four beautiful fawn-colored deer step daintily out from the protection of old oak trees - two mamas and two babies. One youngster is a bit larger than the littlest, cream-colored fawn. The bigger reddish-brown mama appears to be the matriarch. They are heart-warming to see as they stand, like fragile statues, in the sun's rays.
Ignoring my presence, they lower their heads to munch the dewy grasses. Their movements are slow and graceful. Only the little ones bobble from foot to foot, bouncing heads up or twisting about as they graze. All move together as if in unison, within a comfortable distance from one another. Then, what's this? All four snap their heads erect and freeze in place. They become statues as though posed for some photographer or sculptor. They hold their positions a full minute before the big mama turns to survey the area before lowering her head to munch grass once again. All return to their breakfast, still facing the area that concerned them moments earlier, their sweet little faces coming up occasionally to survey their surroundings.
Both mamas again came to attention. They stare toward a path worn into the woods, then, as all stand motionless, the big mama begins to lift a hoof high, like a prancing horse, before stomping it to the ground. Step - stomp - pause. Step - stomp - pause. Every movement is beautiful. Her pose is regal with her head held high, one hoof raised and poised, then stomping with a stance of power and emphasis. How I wish my camera was within reach!
Certainly Mama saw something I could not see. She appeared to be warning off some intruder. If it were a more dangerous threat, she would have given an alert and all four would have disappeared into the woods in one graceful leap - as they often do. I presume this danger is not big enough to frighten her little family away, but of concern enough to display her strength of presence.
Sure enough, there was a flash of movement on the path. Mama deer took one more stomp in that direction when Carol's cat, Galaxy Star Chaser, came sprinting off the path, across the lawn and scrambling onto the porch at full speed - with Mama deer pursuing close behind. The matriarch stopped in the middle of the lawn to watched as I opened the door for Galaxy, that big, bad scaredy cat, to run inside. After a moment, the deer family went back to leisurely grazing.
I'm so grateful to have been here to greet this sunny morning, to let the cat out, make a pot of coffee and to sit on the porch while I observed nature's show. But, I must learn to keep my camera within reach. A mental image of this morning may stay with me for awhile but a photograph of dawn and deer would be so much nicer to keep - and to share with you!
I hope you have special memories preserved in photographs.
Are there memories you wish you had captured on film?
Tell me. I'd like to know.