It’s been some time since I’ve chronicled, perhaps because I am still recovering from the majestic, yet slightly unnerving, experience of Saturday, 21 September.
Being a night owl, I frequently find myself doing things in the middle of the night that most people would reserve for daylight hours. In this case, I found myself changing letters on the sign out front of the house at about a quarter till midnight on Saturday into Sunday. It was an atmospherically strange night, with a bit of fog and a hint of chill in the air.
After having removed the un-needed letters from the sign, I walked behind the sign to stack the extraneous letters carefully on top of the corner post that supports the sign. As I exchanged the stack of un-needed letters for a stack of needed letters that I had brought with me at the beginning of this project, I felt a sudden breeze brush by my back and heard an unusual heavy thudding noise. The thudding object sounded close enough to run into or over me. Within the span of the tiniest fraction of time imaginable, I was startled, then frightened, then astonished, asking myself “did a horse just gallop by me on the front lawn?” (In the middle of the night?)
I looked around and quickly spotted the source of the sudden breeze and the heavy thudding noise. A lovely white-tailed deer continued its thudding trajectory across the driveway and skittered to a stop in the yard on the south side of the house. Once stopped, the deer turned and pondered me, as I pondered the deer. I greeted said deer, who remained rooted to the grass, pondering me. I completed most of my sign-lettering task, bid the deer farewell, and returned to the house to retrieve that handful of letters that I had been unable to fit in my hand on my first trip out to the sign.
Upon returning to the sign to finish my task, I found the deer still rooted in place, no doubt curious to know what this human who was out and about at an unusual hour would do next! Brother / Sister deer remained with me, trotting off only after I had returned to the house for good, turned off the light in the vestibule, and locked the front door. Thank you, Brother / Sister deer for your watchful company! (And thank you for not accidentally knocking me over as you passed very close by me!!) What a majestic reminder of the beauty, grace, and good-natured curiosity of God’s marvelous creation!
In other news: we are abundantly blessed with beans, corn, tomatoes, and squash: healthy, tasty, and filling treats! Thanks be to our volunteer gardeners, who patiently and wonderfully coax these delicious gifts from the soil. And thanks be to our kitchen helpers – volunteers and staff alike – who bring the goodness of the garden to the fellowship of the table.
We are also abundantly blessed with guests: from the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse to the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, we are blessed with guests who come to learn and grow in their faith and in their relationship with God, self, and others. How right and good it is that St. Anthony’s carry on in its mission as a place of learning and spiritual growth!