24 June 2009

I saw three deer

...at my campsite on San Juan today. Three blacktails: a doe and two fauns. The doe slinked out of the brush near where I was dripping coffee for breakfast. She looked at me with caution-- not as if she were afraid of me hurting her, but as if she didn't want to startle me, wake me up, disturb my breakfast.

I squatted and turned my head, making myself look small and unthreatening. She crept out of the brush, two spotted fawns scampering with excitement next to her.

It's the kind of thing I would have called my father to tell him about last summer-- and I almost tried to today. I had pulled his number up on my cell phone before my bleary, early-morning brain remembered.

It made me think of this poem by Donald Hall:

White Apples
when my father had been dead a week
I woke
with his voice in my ear
I sat up in bed
and held my breath
and stared at the pale closed door

white apples and the taste of stone

if he called again
I would put on my coat and galoshes

Tomorrow I leave on the first of six sea kayaking trips over the next couple of months. The trips are shorter this year, to my dismay, but should be fun all the same...

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