We have the dubious pleasure of a bus stop/staging area at the end of our driveway. A group of African refugees—several women in vibrant colors with very small children—will laugh the entire time they are waiting. You have never heard such extended pleasure. It’s as lovely as birdsong. They are fine compensation for every weirdo with his paper bag of beer.
The drivers give the dogs treats and are frequently chivalrous with elderly passengers. It could be a field of study this single bus line.
I have grown used to strange sights, but yesterday I twice passed a large brown object without properly looking at it. In my peripheral vision, I dismissed it as a discarded rug. In fact it was a deer. Tossed onto the snow, the visible eye open and blank, the hooves sadly tangled. Blood on the muzzle.
We are close to the High Drive trails. Deer, moose, eagle, hawks, heron, porcupine, and skunks are commonly sighted. I have three times, on that trail, had deer thunder past me. Once the dogs and I were frozen as two stags rushed down the bluff so close that they might have turned and nudged us. A terrific, delicate creature.
In the snow outside my house: too delicate by far. We have encroached so deeply into the wilds that the undeveloped pockets cannot even be sanctuaries. A month ago, a moose broke a bank window, ran around the lobby, and broke another window on his way out. This was five minutes from me, in a congested business section of town. The authorities didn’t even bother to look for him, but said he’d find his way back out, because he had found his way in. A curious stance. Like the parent that shouts to the child at the top of the tree, “You got yourself up there, now find your way back down.”
My discomfort about this brings no more relief than my shame or my anger or my love.