All day long, Ed and I are lost in computer work. I have a stack of projects that would benefit from his help and we plod through these more or less successfully, with more or less good cheer.
Some have to do with Ocean (soon – I’ll say more on this soon; days maybe. Or months, who can tell…), some have a more general application. The fact is that they swallow us and they swallow the day, and it is like when you were a kid, working on something in your flannels and suddenly, you look up and see that it is getting dark and you haven’t even taken yourself out of the breakfast mindset yet.
As dusk turns to night darkness, I have mild regrets that I hadn’t even stepped out with my camera, just to take a shot of the flakes coming down all day long.
Ed’s Geo ’93 is not meant for winter weather and so I drive him to his sheepshed in the sturdier, equally old Corolla. At the farmette, he makes his way to the shed. I hang back and look around. I see a herd of deer in the distance, but I know that they will outrun me. The slightest crunch of snow will send them flying into the woods.
I walk slowly toward the fields and watch them scamper off.
Turning around, I see the lights on at the shed. Ed is feeding his cats. I look around at the snow covered land. So still. Everything is so still. Wait, is there a shadow in the hugely overgrown raspberry patch?
I move closer. No stirring at all. It’s as if the little doe feels herself to be arrested, mesmerized by the canes, by my presence, by the little flashing camera… There. I am by her side. Snow is falling and my shutter finger is getting darn cold.
She is knee-deep in snow. Her skinny legs seem to be buckling down, stuck in the drift between the raspberry canes.
I am so very close now. She heaves her body against the canes and moves a dozen feet away. I brake down canes and follow. She waits, watching. My camera is not my friend. I try settings. It takes time. I am fighting the blackness of the night and I know she will soon lose patience with me. Besides, my fingers are absolutely frozen. Still, I try again.
Too many canes in front of her beautiful frame. Let me gently push them aside. I can touch her now, but I do not. I wont take advantage of her generosity. I wont hug her, run my fingers down her snow-dusted back, touch the space between her eyes and nose . Just one last photo and I’ll be gone. Really.
My camera battery is low, my finger is completely numb. She looks around one last time and makes her way through the bushes, out into the open space. I follow, just to watch and she waits for me to catch up. But the minute I am out in the clearing, she saunters off. This is her space now. Her freedom. I have had my minutes in the midst of the canes. She is done with me. Off she goes, in search of the pack.