Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 12, 2015 - Deer Path

With relief I returned to the forest today.  The heat has finally abated, and the bugs are much more manageable.  I sorely missed my walks, but I could only bear a few sporadic jaunts in the woods here and there over the last month before being driven out by the bugs or heat.  Even under tree cover, which is always cooler, it has been very hot.  The change has finally come, though.

I chanced upon a deer path as I was walking.  Have you ever seen one?  They are usually very much thinner than a human path, but there is clearly a path laid out.  The trampled ground is not quite as flat as in a human path either, but again, it is clearly noticeable.  There are usually small tree branches or bush twigs in the way here and there, which would be annoying and would be cleared for a human path, but which the deer don’t mind at all.  I usually just keep on walking when I come to a deer path, but today I decided to follow it to see where it led.

The end of the path?

It twisted and turned a bit in a very inhuman-like way.  Though human forest paths turn here and there, they seem to do it in a different way than the deer paths.  Humans take the easiest terrain; the deer don’t always do so.  So the first thing I noticed was that I was walking in a way I wouldn’t ordinarily walk.  It just somehow felt different.  I was taking the path that made the most sense to the deer, and I discovered that they think very differently from us.  They’re clearly not in a rush, and clear roads and paths mean nothing to them. 

In some areas the path seemed more trampled than others, and in other areas I almost lost it once or twice but was able to pick it up again.  Alas, I could not use my nose to help me out, which is a severe handicap on a deer path.  They would know it blindfolded just by the scent.  I had to rely on my eyes, which are inferior as compared to the sense of smell that a deer has.  Eventually, the path seemed to stop or perhaps lightly bear this way or that.  I wasn’t sure.  I decided to go no further.

And what did I find at the end of the path?  Nothing, of course.  At least nothing that a human might understand.  There was a beautiful tree growing sideways for a bit and then upward, and it was covered in a brilliant green moss, but I doubt that was the goal for the deer.  That was a reward for me but certainly not for the deer.  In any event, this doesn’t mean that the path didn’t lead anywhere or that there wasn’t great treasure at the end of it.  In fact, I’m certain it did lead to great treasure, beauty, and comfort.  But it was not for human eyes, which were all I had with me at the time.

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