The woods were damp from the rain the day before. Water puddled in the fallen leaves and soaked the bark of the trees turning them black and shiny.
I know to go for a walk earlier in the afternoon this time of year.
The sun lowers behind the hill soon after 4 pm making the dreary November days even darker. But I took my time feeding the animals and mucking the barn so I got into the woods later than I wanted.
I decided on the path that borders the cornfield. It creates a hopeful prospect emerging from the dark cover of pines to a view of Vermont’s Green Mountains and open sky.
The path to the cornfield circles the thick pine forest, which obscures any evidence that it exists at all until you’re upon it. Fate and Zinnia ran ahead but I stopped to gaze into the thick tree cover when I saw a glimmer of light.
As I watched, a thin gothic archway appeared on the far edge of the woods. It kept getting brighter as if I were seeing the sun light up a stained glass window. Suddenly the stormy blue sky came into focus and the ground glowed yellow. And then, a deer walked right through the narrow sliver of light and color, her coat turned reddish-brown by the sunlight.
If I had blinked I would have missed her
As the sun inched lower, the archway closed up like a curtain had been drawn. And then it was gone. This all happened within seconds.
I still smile when I think of it. It makes me feel special to have witnessed it. Like the woods and sky came together at that moment to put on a show, just for me.
I know it’s not true and that this kind of miracle happens constantly in nature.
But still, I feel privileged as if I was given a secret, but not to keep. Because surely the woods know by now that I would want to share it with you.