Monday, January 08, 2007

And the bliss of return.

I have things to tell, especially about wild animals--a heron, a deer--that turn up in surprising places, but I'm tired enough to drop, and so my flannel sheets are going to get my full attention before you do.

* * *

Yes, in fact, my resolution to sleep gratuitously and fabulously every night is going to work here in Gambier, as well. It was important that I find that out for sure.

Driving east on I-74 near Cincinnati, I saw something standing in the median and was stunned when, after a second or two of double-take, my mind resolved it into a heron. A heron, standing in the median? It was facing the eastbound lanes, and I was past it too quickly to catch it with the camera or even to think of a way to keep it from walking out of the median and into traffic. Just stay where you are, I said and said and said, pushing onward with everyone else. We were all going so, so fast.

Both the officehouse and my real house have certain smells that I stop smelling when I haven't been away for a long time, and it was good to smell those smells upon arrival. I had this experience every time I returned to my house in Ithaca, too: a rush of happiness that everything was right where I'd left it, in greater or lesser stages of disarray, and that the radiators still sang the same songs, and that I was in my own bed, and that when I woke up in that bed the next day, everything would smell like where I lived.

I walked out at 10 p.m. to the post office and the bookstore. My tiny post office box can hold so much more than it ought to be able to hold, I discovered; I now have to go back for the tub of mail that I can only pick up during business hours. As I approached my yard, I was turning something difficult over and over and over in my mind, something about love and seeing and silence, and the deer in front of me was moving before I realized that there was a deer in front of me. We were both startled enough to jump. The deer reminded me of my tiny bear of a dog, who at that point in the night was undoubtedly sleeping deafly somewhere in my parents' house. I spoke quietly to the deer, and she lingered, warily. We contemplated one another for a few minutes. She had been eating out of the bed that surrounds my house and, once I startled her, had moved toward the front of the yard. As I eased myself into the front porch and then into the house, she made a slow return to her eating from my yard. I know it's no good thing for the deer to feel comfortable around humans. And yet, she was such a welcome home.


Blogger KYlitprof said...

Somehow it is comforting to me as well to know you are back in your places! I, too, am reacclimating to my home and my work. I have good intentions of picking up the phone in your general direction soon. (All are well; hubby is only an hour from you today- up for a meeting with his old co-workers.)

10:37 AM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Hooray! I, myself, am looking forward to the next round of pictures of you and your tiny person...

10:45 AM, January 10, 2007  

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