“The deer are here!”

When I visited my mom this week, each night at dinner we were greeted by deer passing by the back door. Coming from Atlanta, this is always a novelty for me, that such beautiful yet skittish creatures dare to venture so close to human territory. Of course, the deer know it as their territory, and we encroached upon it.

The deer look like phantoms in the snow as I steal a photo through the screen door. From December 2011 in Ruidoso, NM.

They move silently, with grace but always with a wariness to their gait. One deer seemed to be looking right at me as I set in awe at the dinner table.

Mom and I remember how Dad used to get excited by the deer as well. “The deer are here,” he would announce with glee. This is before the dementia and the hallucinations that came with it, when the deer became people out in the woods.

I could see Dad being reincarnated as a deer. He was quiet and suspicious yet had a gentle spirit.

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