If you’ve ever been to Ananda Village, you’ve witnessed the abundance of deer that we have here. They are a mixed blessing for many of us, for although serene and peaceful, they do eat up a good deal of our flora (ah, the duality of life!). They must know that they are safe here, and although we do not feed them out of hand, you can usually get as close as 15 feet before they turn and run away.
About 4 weeks ago we got a call from a friend in the community inviting us over to witness the birth of 2 baby fawns. Caitlin and I hopped on our bikes, quickly zoomed over, and entered Chandi house barely able to contain our excitement – the mother deer and her two newborns were in a little alcove enclosure, just outside a glass door. It was amazing to see her so close, the closest I’ve ever seen a deer approach and stay (well, unless it is to eat our flowers!). The two babies, one an hour old and the other born just minutes ago were quickly adjusting to their new bodies. The mother was busy cleaning them both as they nursed sporadically.
What a thrill it was to see them take their first steps on their spindly little legs! And imagine our surprise when one of them, exploring their new world, came right up to the glass door. They could definitely see us, and seemed not the least bit afraid. It’s curiosity satiated for the moment, the fawn returned to its mother to nurse again.
At his point, one of us decided to open the door very slowly and very carefully, to see what would happen next. Lo and behold, the mother, perhaps too exhausted, did not stir from her resting spot a few feet away, and the fawns took no notice.
As many of you know, stillness does not come naturally to little children, least of all those as energetic as my daughter. But what a testimony to the education that we have here at Ananda! Ever since preschool Caitlin has been practicing her “quiet body”, which has never been easily for her, but all that work has come to beautiful fruition. Thankfully someone else took these pictures, for I was too absorbed and transfixed by the truly magical energy between the two beautiful beings. The fawn stayed just inside the door for at least 3 minutes, and Caitlin was the picture of centeredness and love, reaching out not with her arms, but just with her heart. Remembering the vibration there sends a thrill of warmth from my heart, and you can see the living presence of love and peace in Caitlin’s eyes. My, what a blessing this was.