Tag Archives: deer


deer near the woods

Friday Welcoming Committee

Man will have replicated his own intelligence not when he teaches a computer to reason but when he teaches a computer to have a nagging feeling in its circuits. ~ Robert Brault

My husband teases me about having a serious case of deerdar when I’m driving, especially to and from work. I often skip the interstate (and its crazy speeding and darting traffic) and take residential streets and back roads. I like the rolling paths as well as the scenery, the animals we get to see. At one corner, there is a flock of sheep that keep me entertained during the red light. At another, a small herd of cows are typically moseying their way to or from the barn. And yes, there are the deer.

Evidently I have some inner sense about the deer. I blame it on growing up on a farm and around large open areas where deer roamed freely. When we would go out on Sunday drives or over to the farm, we’d always keep an eye out for deer on the roads. As the navigator on our summer road trips, I’d try to help my dad spot things in the road. Now, as the primary driver in the household, it’s a safety issue. I don’t want to smack into one, not only because of the damage to our car, but because I don’t want to hurt the deer, either. Spotting deer is evidently a habit I’ve unintentionally cultivated over a lifetime!

I didn’t realize this had its own definition until my husband began calling it deerdar. Then I learned that it has its own definition page on Urban Dictionary! Deerdar: the ability to locate deer while driving down the road even if it is not yet in sight. Hmm. That’s me.

Actually, I think my inner deerdar applies to more than just locating the occasional Bambi that crosses my path. I rely on that sense of something out there, even if I don’t yet see or understand it. If questioned, I would argue strongly that I base most of my decisions on logic, information, and practicality. In reality, however, it is probably more out of emotional response than anything else. Woman’s intuition? Gut instinct? Both? Something else entirely?

I do trust my emotional response to things and have done so since childhood. One of my tests? If I can’t imagine it happening, it doesn’t. A simple example was my freshman orientation weekend to college. My campus used to take its freshman class on a weekend outing prior to the start of classes. Now I’ve never been a real fan of camping anyway and faced with camping out with a group of strangers, I wasn’t happy about going. But I lobbied my mother with my ultimate decision-maker: try as I might, I couldn’t envision myself at that place, doing those things. In the end, I backed out, didn’t go, and learned later that the weekend was plagued with large nasty mosquitoes and rain. Good decision. That’s an easy one, but there are so many times in my life I’ve used that measure to decide things: can I close my eyes and see me doing x, y, or z thing?

I’ve learned to trust my inner voice about things, whether it stops me from doing something or encourages me forward into something. Those little hairs on the back of my neck standing up. The nagging sense that something isn’t right. The inner voice that says “Yeah, do it!” or “Uh-uh, stay away.”

The gut-clench of first response.

My deerdar for living.

How about you? Do you listen to your “Deerdar”?

[Note: This post is #4 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button on the right of the page for more information.
Last year’s “D” post: Delight.]


Filed under April A-to-Z Challenge

The Privilege of Knowing

deer near the woods

Friday Welcoming Committee

Driving in to work Friday morning, I was caught up in all that was on my to-do list for the day.  Lost already in the business and the busy-ness of the day and not even at work yet.  It was the last day of Spring Break; classes for the spring quarter start on Monday.  Although the campus had been empty of students this week, we experienced no shortage of visitors.  Our researchers know that parking is far easier when the students are on break.  Hoping for quiet moments to get caught up, I planned to tuck away the remains of last quarter and get a head-start on the next.  If lucky, I might even begin to make a dent in the piles on the side of my desk, ever patiently waiting for attention.

But as I rounded the curve in the road, the final turn before the parking lot and the start of my day, seven or eight deer stood, contentedly grazing away on the newly-green splotches of grass near the woods.  Thankfully, no one was behind me as I stopped in the middle of the road, hoping the deer were not thinking of getting into the soon-to-be busy stretch of road.  As I fumbled for my phone to get a picture, the one closest to me looked me dead on, as if assessing my worthiness to share in their moment of peace.   And when I snapped this shot, I had the distinct feeling I had not passed the test.

I thought about that later in the evening, as I transferred my day’s pictures to the computer.  How in the middle of my busy-ness, I had been offered a moment of peace, a moment of beauty.  A moment that I quickly captured and tucked away, planning on enjoying it later when I looked at my pictures.  I wondered about how often I do that.  Postpone a proffered respite, look past what is here and now, lost in the pace of living, and not enjoying what is right before me, at the moment it is there.

It reminded me of a short note I found in the middle of one of my mother’s notebooks.  She kept a small mountain of blank journals around, filling them with her thoughts and writings as the mood struck her.  I have most of them on a shelf in my office.  As my photos transferred and backed-up onto the various hard drives, I sent in search of the passage teasing my memory.  And I found it, almost on the first try:

God is Good

He didn’t just allow me the privilege of knowing the people in my life, but each day has filled my cup to overflowing with blessings many times before I could even think to ask for them.

But also with enough rain to make the flowers grow, to help me appreciate others, to help me to understand others, to help me appreciate what I have without asking for more, to have friends like you, and to accept each day as it comes, remembering they all still come from Him.

How often do we let the little moments in life pass us right by in the busy-ness of living?

My answer was staring back at me as the deer gave one last glance before turning and disappearing back into the woods with its companions.  A reminder to take a breath, to be thankful for everything that is in my life, and to celebrate moments as they happen.  And most of all, to be grateful for the privilege of knowing all the people who share their lives with me.


Filed under Life