Last evening a car pulled up in front of our house. Another soon followed, and then a third. Watching them surreptitiously from between the window shades in the breakfast nook, I wondered what was up. I didn’t recognize any of the cars or the people in them.
Were they all really gathered to look at the Whoville tree lit up in the front yard? The day after Christmas? Talk about a slow news day. Then one car aimed its headlights right at the tree. Hardly the traditional way to view holiday lights.
Of course, they weren’t looking at the lights. Five little mule deer had set up station in the glistening snow around the 30-foot tree. Two muscular bucks and three delicate does in a boy-girl-boy, ring-around-the-rosie stance, watching the humans watching them as the LEDs on the fir faded from blue to green and back to blue again.
Then, with no discernable reason, the deer flicked their tails in unison and bounded like springs across the street, over a low fence, and into the neighbor’s pasture. The spectators’ tires crunched on frozen slush, and darkness returned to the street.
I looked up and saw a bright thumbnail of the moon coyly curled around nearby Venus. The rest of the moon was a strangely visible black circle, a dark palette awaiting the waxing moonlight in the coming weeks to accompany the gradual increase of daylight as the new year marches toward us, full of potential.
Nose tingling from the cold, I slipped back inside to the crackling fire and the smells of braising pork chops and bread hot out of the oven.
Hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season.