Slim little grosbeaks and warblers and a strikingly blue western scrub jay, fiercely territorial hummingbirds, and a young doe and her fuzzy little fawn, still covered in white spots, coming up to the ornamental pond to drink.
I’m in southern Oregon now, with the people who lived down the road from me when I was growing up. We haven’t seen each other in ten years, which is a difficult truth to believe, but here I am, eating Bernie’s food and hearing Leland’s philosophies and having drinks on the deck at the top of a hill surrounded by more rising hills as the hundred degree heat fades away into the evening.
Bert the cat is still not sure about me, but then, this is the first time we’ve ever met. But Bernie and Leland are staunchly, but not at all naively, behind me and all that brings me joy and satisfaction, with not a second’s patience for worrying what anyone else might think.
When the doe and fawn came up to drink I froze, disbelieving that they would trust me, that I would get to witness such a wild, sweet moment. But they did, and I did, and that seems to be the adamant and loving message of my life: this goodness is for you, for no reason you need to understand at all, for no reason you should justify to anyone else.