A reverent hush falls on the forest and respectfully you close your eyes, and when you open them you sense you are smiling, finding the warmth of the woodsman’s deep, silent, hazel brown, eyes looking directly into your own.

Reflecting their energy, you feel a growing confidence, a sense of knowing how he sees you, how he finds the you of you, sees you in the here and now, sees the you of yesterday, and the you of everyday. His eyes consume the truth of you, they know you, they tell you that he gets you, and that he accepts you, exactly as you are.

Laden with patience and depth, caring and understanding, you read his eyes and your senses reach out beyond the shared silence, listening to the forest trees, aware of their leaves breathing, and their boughs standing still.

“Some water?” the woodsman asks with total consideration for your well being. “Thank you” your only words as you accept his offer and receive the cup, lifting it to your lips to nurse the thirst of a long walk.

With the soup finished, you sit up and take in the changing light and the shadows, the myriad of minute movements that live within the forest, and into this serene moment a single deer walks out, carefully and cautiously approaching the clearing, she stares at you with her own deep brown eyes, seeming to mirror you as you quizzically tilt your head to one side. The deer stands stone still, her hazel gaze never flinching.

Two more deer appear on either side of her, and one proceeds toward you causing you to question if you might not be visible at all. Cautiously, fearful not to disturb the balance of the scene, you look to the woodsman, your expression seeking confirmation that he sees this is surreal.

He simply smiles, and with almost a crack of a heartbreaking sound in his soothing voice, his own deep brown eyes pull for your total attention. His energy gently reaching out to protect the innocence you guard, and through the timbre and tone of his low voice you feel his words more than you hear them, as he softly explains: “they see you Fox, you are their Lady of the forest, they’ve been waiting many years for you to return”.

Involuntarily you rise to your feet and begin to walk slowly forward, the deer do not move, and neither do they lower their approving gaze. The woodsman follows your lead, moving equally slowly and toward you.

Each of the three deer is now joined by nine more, making their bevy, thirty in all, and they gracefully gather, forming a close circle around you both.

Slowly you turn your back away from the woodsman and face the early evening sun, the daylight hanging, still warm, above the tree line, with flares of gold flooding out across the cloud-streaked sky, preparing a painters pallet of burnt colors, with a silent brush, dancing above the lush green leaves that sway atop these hundred, huddled trees.

You sense the woodsman’s approach, he’s within inches of you and you are free of fear, his silent strength, courage and confidence, empowering you to allow for the majesty of this moment, to be in the wood at the turning of the light.

From the herd-circle, one of the deer leans closer, placing its the soft wetted snout of its rhinarium-nose against your hand; looking down you admire the reddish brown fur of this beautiful Roe, her hazel eyes brightly begging you to believe you belong.

The tight circle of doe alternate their motion, taking turns, some grazing while others fix the tree line, keeping watch, standing vigilant, ears flicking and nostrils flaring to catch any clue of threat or danger.

And then, without any sign or semaphore, you see how the grazers become guardian and alert, and the lookouts relax, they’re now relieved of their duty, free to take their turn and graze, and so the herd alternates their roles, remaining connected, seeming to cooperate as one.

continue…