On Friday we leased a home that sits right next to 476 acres of woodlands and wildlife sanctuary. A dream come true for me and my nature boy. Same town and yet a completely different world.
Prior to leasing the home, I noticed fox scat near the side of the property and what appeared to be an animal footpath. Memories of my childhood days spent playing in the woods behind my home and much of what I learned from that experience comes back in moments such as this.
"This is IT", I said, "this IS the one".
We immediately signed the lease and gave our 30 day notice at our former nest. I'm still unpacking - and placing - and putting - and oh so tired, but I try to remember to pause, to notice and listen, and learn the ways of this place and how the sun rises through the big woods so quickly you can almost feel the spin of the earth. I reckon in the winter, when the trees sleep naked, we will be blessed with a spectacular sunrise.
My first morning here I sat in the dark and was joined by a large buck. The next morning, he brought the whole family…spotted fawns n' all. It seems that our back yard is a wild highway to and fro their forest home. The critters seem to cut a diagonal across the backyard, pausing at the holly bush outside my studio for cover before slipping back into the forest. (I was right about that animal footpath after all).
Remembering the fox scat that I spotted prior to leasing the home, I arose extra early and filled an earthenware mug with hot coffee and a splash of almond milk (fuel for the work ahead). I love the sound a spoon makes on a clay cup. The vibration is longer and lower in tone, more like a bell - not the more familiar sharp "clink" of the common mug. Barefoot, I walked softly down to my studio where I sat in the dark and waited patiently in front of the glass door. I sipped and allowed my eyes to adjust. Suddenly the fox appeared. It has a funny gait, like a cross between a trot and limp. It paused beneath the holly bush in front of my studio - so close that if the door had been open I would have smelled it's wild fur. I imagine it smells of wet leaves and dark soil. I held my breath momentarily and watched it with an averted gaze so not to frighten it.
In the afternoon, my neighbor lets her cat out and he runs beneath that holly bush sniffing the ground with his tail twitching.
In moments such as this...
I think I know how Moses must have felt
for the ground we stand upon IS holy
and I'm already barefoot.