Wonder and awe are the dessert of life.
The sweet and satisfying rush of an idea, a place, that is more than we had imagined, that we couldn’t have imagined – is just delicious. It makes slogging through the good-for-you work, the brussell sprouts, if you will – all worth while.
But, as I get older, it’s seems harder to find those incredible moments since so much of life is a repeat of past experiences – as in, yippee – another mountain.
Fortunately, there are two phenomena that never get old, where wonder abounds.
Phenomenon #1 – The brilliance of a Netflix DVD arriving in the mailbox after you had just moved it to the top of your queue the day before. I know that Netflix is trying to move away from home delivery to streaming their own productions, but I beg them to reconsider. For any given day – except Sunday…and, soon to come, except Saturday… I can put my viewed DVD out for my friendly postal carrier to whisk away and the NEXT DAY, there’s my number 1 choice. As Butch Cassidy would say, “Who are those guys, anyway?!”
Phenomenon #2 – Equally as impressive is Zappos delivery –do these people live in the trees with their laptops where they read my request for brand-spankin’ new shoes – size 8, often wide (before pregnancies and standing in front of a class all day, they were a mere 7, regular, but now my feet are pods that sound like this as I walk – “slap, slap” – but I digress…) and drop them onto the front porch the very next day?!! I never get tired of this great trick and order shoes that I don’t need just to experience the rush again.
And there’s more – the time I ran over the foot of the nice young man at Heinen’s who puts the groceries in my trunk and his foot didn’t break. Or my sister-in-law’s husband who left his ipad somewhere only to have it returned years later. Or another ipad that fell off a car on a major road, was found with multiple tire tracks on it, but was returned to its owner and now, except that it acts a bit like a person with early symptoms of dementia, is still working (which goes to show that what you pay for those protective cases probably really is worth it).
As I said, wonder and awe.
Most people still find the natural world worthy of this high-level status as did I… until recently. As I write this, Robert Frost’s “Nature’s first green is gold” is fully evident. However, don’t forget the “so Eden sank to grief” line in that poem because that’s how I feel about the herd of deer in our backyard.
Initially, when builders destroyed the woods behind us and more and more deer appeared to nibble on this and that, their lanky grace beautiful and inspiring, we cooed over their Bambi-like offspring and marveled at the rack on the big daddy. We were thrilled that, of all the lots on our street, the deer family appeared to live behind our garage – how honored we were!!
But that was then and this is now.
Our high-spirited dog Rigby – may she rest in peace – went through the bay window, not once, but twice, trying her best to keep us safe from these interlopers. We should have paid more attention to Rigby. We shouldn’t have ignored the first signs of a lack of respect – like bad graffiti on a previously spotless bridge – from these third cousins of the moose.
Because now that Rigby’s gone, the deer have taken over. The deer are no longer adorable. In fact, there’s no loping. No leaping. There’s swagger. The herd has turned into a posse.
When Annie first got her driver’s license, she had a close encounter with one of the pack on the road, almost landing him on the windshield as he jumped unexpectedly across the road. It scared her, but as she pulled around behind the house to the garage, the fear was just beginning – for there was the same deer peering at her from under his “eyebrows,” trying to stare her down as she got out of the car. It looked as if he would pick up his dainty hooves and knock her in the nose or slip a switchblade out from under his fur. He did that thing they do – we all know it – he picked up his head and turned it perpendicular to his body and stared – her – down. It was clear that he would have said – if deer could talk - “Hey, I’m talkin’ to YOU!”
Recently, as a little kindergartener got off the school bus, I saw a couple of deer tokin it up, chuckling as they blew a slow exhale of smoke in the terrified little one’s face. There are deer deals on the corner – selling hydrangea buds from my bushes. The neighborhood is turning into a deer ghet-to. Where will it end? Bringing down the resale value of our home?!
But maybe the real wonder and awe is the interconnectedness of the universe. Think about it.
The deer live behind our garage…along with the Netflix distributor…and the show maker from Zappos.