Yellowstone National Park, July 2013
I encountered this deer in
Yellowstone Park a few days ago and of course, when I saw her, I was
breathless. She was near the side of an open stretch of highway and there were
two carloads of people parked on the shoulder who were taking her picture, so
naturally, I joined in.
“Butt” why, you might ask,
did I decide to capture this regal Doe’s behind…let alone post it in my blog, for goodness sakes!?
Three words: Lili Von
Ok, picture this scenario:
three carloads of admirers, a constant stream of cameras clicking, a cacophony
of “Oohs and Aahs” that break the majestic silence, and one deer trying to enjoy her meal!
So after a few warm-up photos, what does she do? She
turns her back to us, plants her hooves firmly in the ground and refuses to
“pose” for her admirers any longer! She’s “tired…tired of being admired; tired
of playing the game; ain’t it a cwyin’ shame…she’s… so…tired…”
Now, for those of you who
have not seen Mel Brooks classic, Blazing Saddles and Madeline Kahn’s
song of woe, I’ve included the YouTube link at the end of this blog.
The moment this dignified
Doe turned her back to us, I turned to my husband and declared, “she’s tired…”
and that’s where it started—I couldn’t get the song out of my head!
You might be wondering how
in the world I drew this parallel—I mean, clearly
Lili’s admirers are of the opposite sex and her song and dance of woe is riddled
with innuendo. And of course, deer’s “song and dance” is of innocence and her admirers
are, well…of the opposite species! (A
minor detail in the large scheme of things).
But, despite these
opposing aspects, one thing was made very clear to me: Lily and Doe…both know…that
all species are slaves to beauty.
Now for a few fun facts
about deer: they are symbolic of beauty, gentleness, grace, innocence, swiftness, fertility, and the gentle luring to new adventure. They have
historically captured the imagination of humanity. Because of their ability to
adapt to every sort of habitat, deer is known as one of the most successful
families of mammals, native to every continent except Australia. The white-tailed
deer, the mule deer and the caribou are the most prominent on
A master at finding the
green freshness that Mother Earth provides, deer can lead us into greener
pastures of our own–inner treasures that are yet to be discovered. There are
many stories and myths of deer luring hunters, even kings deep into the woods
until they are lost and begin to encounter new adventures. One such example is
found in the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Sir
Gawain follows a white hart to many adventurous encounters.
The deer is also a central
religious image for Buddhism. Buddha is often pictured with a deer, and legend
tells how he first preached in a deer park. This image itself reasserts the
meaning of deer representing gentleness, innocence and grace.
When deer shows up in your
life, it is time to be gentle with yourself and others. A new freshness is
about to be awakened or born. There is a gentle and enticing lure of
new adventures at hand. This is a time to ask some important questions: are you trying
to force things? Are you
being too critical and uncaring of yourself—of others?
When deer shows up, there
is an opportunity to express gentle love that will open new doors to adventure
Thank you, Deer.