Unwrapping a gift of nature

The road winds gently downhill, through a green canopy of trees revealing a village where the unexpected is common. Driving through Steilacoom, I am greeted with a breathtaking view of the Olympics and Puget Sound. Her restless surface shimmers with sequins of sunlight.

My journey through this picturesque small town came to an abrupt halt when a doe bounded across the road in front of my car, flanked by white-tailed fawns. The deer leaped gracefully over a picket fence into the safety of a yard. Her spotted fawns, unable to jump the fence, were lost and confused. Struggling on wobbly legs, one fawn delicately ventured toward the road, then paused to gaze at me with luminous eyes. Frightened by the sight of my car, the fawn turned and joined his twin. They stood still as the earth, heads up and alert, ready to bolt.

Delicate as blossoms, the fawns pranced back and forth on sticklike legs seeking an escape. They appeared so vulnerable along the edge of the road, I feared for their safety. Finally, to my relief, the doe returned. One of the fawns timidly walked toward her and soon discovered an opening in the fence. Within seconds, the remaining fawn followed, releasing me to continue my day.

Sometimes the world I live in is so familiar I don’t really see it. The deeper I look at nature, the more it becomes a part of me, essential to my presence and creativity. The gift of nature fills me with joy, nourishes my soul, and satisfies my hunger for beauty. It is a peaceful world I hope to experience again and again.


Jan Rich, who wrote this article, is a freelance writer. She lives in Lakewood and is a frequent contributor to Senior Scene.