Thursday, August 20, 2009

Close Encounters

What a long strange day this has been.

It started about 3am, when Big C woke up and decided he couldn't be consoled unless he slept in the "big bed" with me. I don't usually do this, but the boys and I were having a sleepover at my parents house, and what the hell. As long as I got to sleep, I didn't really care. Of course, I didn't. I was awake for an hour afterwards, and then awake every hour after that. Then I was so tired that I slept through my 6am wake-up time.

I managed to get out of the house at 6:35am for a run along the escarpment trail. Hot as soup, it was. It felt like I was sweating oil along with, well, sweat. Attractive, I KNOW. I got to the part of the trail where it either veered off into houses on the edge of the escarpment (or "mountain" as we delightfully smart born-and-bred Ti-Cats refer to it), or you could continue on into the the less maintained part of the trail. I was unsure of my way in the mountain streets, so I decided to continue on the trail on the trail for 5 more minutes until I reached my half-hour turnaround point. It felt like I was venturing into No Man's Land (or was that Nomo's Land..??), but what is life without a little risk..?

Not too far in, I deftly veered out of the way of some prominent animal leavings, and saw a brown rabbit sitting calmly in the brush to the side of the road. Further down the rabbit hole I went. Before I had run the requisite 5 minutes, something large burst out of the trees to the left and crossed the path a few feet from where I was running. It was a deer. I stopped and watched it join it's mate in the forest to the right. They were eating and cautiously watching me to see what I would do. I stopped in my tracks and watched to see what they would do. I took this as a sign that I should turn around and go back. Leave nature to unfold..naturally.

I picked up the pace and came across several deer on my right, standing at the edge of the road. I started counting and there were nine in total, one, a baby spotted fawn. I slowed down again, and walked as calmly and unthreateningly past them as I could. They watched me warily to see what I would do. I watched them warily to see what they would do. It was like an old-fashioned showdown without the gunslinging.

The rest of the run passed uneventfully, although a bug did fly up my nose. And one stinger rode on my hat for a while. That was fun. Buggers.

On the drive back to Toronto, Big C said that he had had trouble sleeping last night because there were flashing lights in his room. Puzzled, I asked flashing lights from where? From the window?? My mind immediately going to aliens. I watch far too much weird TV. He said they were coming from inside the room. From 'reflections'. I let the conversation drop. There are some things I don't want to know, and aliens top that list.

At 7pm, the skies opened up and we had the most frightening weather I have ever been witness to in my life. Rain bucketing. Wind whipping. Tornado watching. Rooves ripped off. Houses destroyed. Somebody killed. I watched the TV and the window, frightened that it would strike our house. Strangely, I had no fear for myself, only the need to get the kids to safety. Out of harm's way. Nature is powerful.

It passed as quickly as it came on, and in the end, a beautiful rainbow. Now I remember why I loved them as a child. They mean that all is safe.

They say that animals (and perhaps small children?) sense danger, and act strangely when something big is going to happen. Who knows. But I won't look at a deer in quite the same way again.


kgirl said...

Wow - the deer! I feel so privileged when I see big animals in the 'wild.' Usually I just see them dead on the side of the road.

And yes, that weather was carazay. The amber sky - if I believed in aliens, that sky would have freaked me right out.

painted maypole said...

interesting, indeed

slouchy said...

i'm back at "prominent animal leavings."

umm, eww?

bren j. said...

yeah, my brother said that weather was nutty.
glad you were all safe!