This morning I am sitting here with the usual block about how to start writing, only this time it’s extra hard, because I have been wanting to write about Saoirse for months, since I met her in May, actually, right around Beltane; and of course I didn’t; I’m too tired, just bone-weary/worn-out and pun-intended, dog tired, and all the time. Some of that is my own doing, but its still true. I want to excel at everything and I insist on rescuing animals, growing my own herbs and making plant medicines, running Facebook groups and more. I know I need to focus, because this blog and writing about animals, Druidry, nature and the spiritual importance of making your own catfood are all really important to me. I am sitting here (well, since about 4 am actually) fidgeting, looking at Facebook, watching youtube clips about peak oil and goat nutrition (not on the same clip) checking my forums, answering emails and generally not writing about Saoirse.
Mostly because, there’s so much, it’s been so long, and I feel pretty sure by now, anything I say will be…stale, uninspired, woefully inadequate to the task. Well, nevermind, I’m going to try anyway. The nice thing about a blog – especially a blog that nobody reads save for my circle of friends – is if I fail to convey the thing this morning, there’s always tomorrow. I can try again.
So, basically, anyone who reads my Facebook timeline knows I have become obsessed, disconcerted, completely smitten with a white tail doe I call Saoirse. She’s been central to my thoughts, daily routines and spiritual life for several months, but most powerfully so (and how like a human is this) since I realized she was in rather a lot of danger. And, unlike the sometimes crazed heroics I and my friends will go to over a domestic animal we love, with this wild creature who appears only dawn and dusk, only in the distance, and often only for a few moments, there is nothing at all I can do, well not in the same tangible sense. I may truck some corn in for her over the winter; I’m raising a bit of awareness on FB. I pray – well, I always pray, but I think I do a better job when it’s not “prayers for the deer nation” but prayers for this one sweet, vulnerable individual…you know, the one with the name and a story to tell, too.
First of all, I don’t actually have a really good picture of her to share, not yet, and maybe not ever. I have only an old digital camera; I have almost no idea how to use it, and (sniff) no one to show me; I once hoped to do a little photography, to try and capture some of the soul of animals so those who can’t seem to see it, might get a glimpse; at this point in life I doubt I am going to learn anytime soon. Nevermind; maybe it’s somehow fitting that you, reader, get only glimpses of her, as I do . We all know what white tails look like; Saoirse is fairly unremarkable, if that word can ever be applied to anything as exquisite and magical as a white tailed deer; what I’m saying is, if you’ve seen a white tail you have some idea what she looks like. Maybe the specific marks that identify her to me, are best left mysterious. What I can say, is that she first appeared right about beltane of this year, and she looked to be a yearling at that time. She could well be older, I am no expert, but the fresh innocence about her seemed to point to youth.
Maybe it was the time of year, I mean everything feels fresh and new around May 1st, in the Gatineau Hills.
Here are the pics I got, when I first encountered Saoirse.
As you can see, they’re blurry as Hell – the top one, is a sunset moment across the street from my house, where Indian Creek winds around northwards, lined with white willow and hawthorn, and where I rarely, rarely see white tails in the springtime. I was out there one evening last May, and there was Saoirse, much closer to the house than these pictures show, because when she was standing basically right across the road, I didn’t have a camera to hand. By the time I got one, and got back out there, she had started off, but slowly;I had that unmistakable sense of numinosity one gets when close attention is required, when you absolutely need to pay attention. So, I followed this slow moving, wide eyed faerie creature, as she moved step by delicate step up the sloping hill, around the densest patch of willow, stopping every few feet to look over her shoulder at me, as if to say “Are you with me? Are you still there? Good – now pay attention”.
I hate to admit it, but I think the fiddling with my camera blocked some of the experience, some of what I was intended to “get” that day.
That said; I have been reminded all usmmer and fall, so assuredly, the deer have my full attention now, and especially Saoirse.
After I snapped the last picture, where she is basically twisting her head over her shoulder to stare back at me, she suddenly bounded off, over the meadows towards the line of forest to the west. I was thrilled by the encounter; saddened the pictures were not clearer.Feeling pleased with myself, I more or less put the thoughts away, as I have to, when I return to my day job and my animals and all the focus of daily life.
Until, the following evening, there she was again.
and the day after that, too. I think she was outside the front of the house 5 times in total at sunset, until I began to get worried about her crossing the fence and into the road. It’s hardly what you’d call busy here, but when trucks do come by they come quickly, and from a blind spot too, from the north. After that, she didn’t come back to the western landscape.
But by then I had already named her.
Saoirse, pronounced like SER-cha – means Freedom.
And I’d know her, now anywhere and anytime she turned up. There was to be a good, if also tragic, summer ahead.