This morning, I left the house at 7:30 am for a walk. This was painfully early for me. It has been almost two weeks of sweltering heat and humidity in the DC region. Not unusual for this time of year, but we were spoiled by an unusually cool spring that lasted well into June. In order to have a walk where the heat index is below 95 requires early rising. I have been resisting this need to get up at the crack of dawn... but the last few days, my cranky factor has gone up dramatically... indicating a certain urgency for exercise.
Yesterday, I heard an owl on my walk in a section along a tributary of the Anacostia River. It was magical and wonderful. And unusual. It is only the second time I've heard an owl while out walking in the slim pickin's forest patches of DC. So, understandably, I was mesmerized. That magic carried me through another day of what feels like slogging through COVID lock down torture.
Today, I decided to walk a different route to the river trail. About a mile into my walk, as I was approaching the stretch of path where I had heard the owl... something inside said, "No. Not this way." So, I stopped right before the crossing with Windom Road and just turned around.
My brain said, "Well, that's weird, why did you do that?" If I had been walking with a friend I probably would have dismissed the impulse to stop and turn around and just kept walking the way I had been going. But since I was alone, I indulged the urge to turn.
My walk continued. About half a mile of backtracking and I again randomly turned left. And then, as I approached the corner of Upshur Street and 37th... I could hear my thoughts saying, "Well... this is good enough for today. Not every day is going to be as magical as yesterday with the owl." Since I had turned away from the river and was walking in the opposite direction, I just assumed my walk would be run of the mill, no magic, just get it done before the heat kicks in kind of walk.
Literally seconds after I had that thought, I looked up and to the left. There, standing in someone's front yard... a deer. She was literally 5 feet in front of me!
The early morning light was streaming in behind her. It made the tips of her ears look all lit up. We had a moment, she and I... where we just sort of stared at each other. Then, she moved a few feet to the right and started munching on the tree leaves that she was eating for breakfast.
Pure magic, at least to me. And we all need a bit of magic these days.
Had I not listened to the strange urge to turn around abruptly... I would have never had the privilege to encounter this beautiful creature. Intuition works in strange and wonderful ways and when we follow it... we are often led down a wondrous path of magic and mystery.
And, it's never really a straight line like we think it's going to be.
Looking at the world from above the fray. Houkje writes about following her intuition, observerations on the magic of the natural world, and navigating creativity and chaos in an uncertain world.
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