Thanks to our nearness to the summer solstice, the sun was well up when I headed out for coffee early Monday morning. The nearest street, usually well traveled, was completely deserted. Our complex is set back from the street quite a bit, as are the houses on the other side of the street. It's an older neighborhood, with full grown trees and lots of vegetation.
Something big loomed in the middle of the road ahead of me. I slowed down, then stopped. A deer stood on the centerline, gently sniffing at something on the ground.
Putting the car in gear, I gave it just enough gas to put the car in motion, slowly moving closer. The deer looked up at me; I braked. We sat there, staring at one another, for a good thirty seconds.
When she finally took off across the lawns, it wasn't with the panicked leaping for shelter you would expect. Instead, she seemed to frolic, leaping this way and that, crossing the lawns in a way that brought her closer to me before she turned the corner around a house.
While I've always known a variety of fauna roam around the dark spaces of the city (I've met raccoons, possums and peacocks all on city streets, or, in the case of the possum, in my own back yard), this is the first time I've ever seen a deer.
It's a good reminder to slow down, to look for the unexpected little things that bring joy to the day.
Not to mention a reminder to keep my eyes open on the road.