You notice the Stag has already retreated deeper into the shadows of the wood, and you see the Doe, the beauty, his chosen inamorata.
She lightly steps her way toward you, and reaching you she again leans her soft, loving nose into your open hand.
Your woodsman steps around beside you and takes your free hand into his. The circle of deer begin to shift and shuffle, breaking their rank and threading their way tentatively toward the tree line.
You feel yourself almost floating as you carefully follow their gentle steps, as if gliding silently through the forest and into the field beyond.
The deer reach the edge of the forest, the fallow, arable field opening out beyond the treeline. Your Woodsman stops, still holding your hand, waiting for you to turn and face him. And the deer stop too.
You are now one in their train. The Woodsman looks lovingly and intimately into your eyes, you feel the warmth of the light pouring from his dark brown eyes, they’re wide open, smiling, and like the deer, they hold you with their protection.
Softly he speaks “Fox, we’re here now, just there beyond the tree line, the field continues and I believe you’ll find your camper van waiting to take you home.”
“And you?” you ask, feeling his grip relax and your hands slip from one another, “West” you hear his words and softly repeat them in your mind “West…”
The woodsman turns, walking slowly, heading back into the shadows of the wood. You know he won’t turn, and your eyes stay with him until his outline is lost in the darkness between the trees.
You feel the deer nudging at your open hand, smelling the loving contact that has been exchanged there. You’re aware of the earth, its soil under your nails and rubbed into your knees.
And as you turn away from the tree line, you walk slowly, feeling the forest fill your heart, surrounded by the circle of deer. You pass protected by their caravan, out through the open field, out to where the welcome outline of your old, but faithful camper, waits patiently.