Day Two: Impatient Hunter or Patient Poet
Now I sit, just before first light, in my camo hide, as South Africans call a game viewing enclosure.
Gravity’s relentless call is still at work littering the forest floor with a myriad of fall-hued, leafy pixels.
Where did my quarry spend the night? Was it in this very place, protected by darkness’ cover?
The game camera says “Yes, at 1:15 this morning a manly rack munched with abandon the succulent forage.”
“O camera, will that antlered one return to test his bravery against the day’s light?” The mute reply lets my question hang unanswered.
So, I sit. A sip of tea, a cashew—could these diversions bring a speedier approach of the queried one?
A watch check: 45 minutes has gone by.
Wait—now I see it—a herd of cloven hooved, massive-racked deer are in my field of view.
A quick shake of the head, and reality returns.
The peaceful, empty meadow has only grown brighter with the rising sun.
And now I count: 10,001, 10,002… and after days and countless counting each tree still looks fully clothed in the hues of fall’s leafy splendor. How long before those dark, skeletal limbs stand stark against winter’s grey sky? It will happen—
it always does, yet surprise seems to greet each new repetition.
Are the falling leaves not like warnings of sin?
There are clearly recognizable signs,
like falling leaves,
inexorably ignoring these obvious signals eventually finds one standing like the barren tree—his sin ever so starkly revealed.
Unlike sin, the annual leaf event is creation’s plan,
but the falling leaves of sin’s warning are a silent call to halt—
a notice of the approach of exposure.
The winter’s cold, grey light offers no succor to what will be revealed.
More tea, two hours have passed and my vision of a venison roast surrounded by carrots, onions and sweet potatoes now dims.
My thoughts of the comfy bed I left in the dark grow stronger—
but a true hunter soldiers on.
Hmmm, am I a true hunter?
Were it not for the lavish encouragement of my friend, Robert, I would still be considering only the possibility of a hunt.
Perhaps there is a gravity pulling me from my bed to this forest vigil. Perhaps a “magic” will imbue me with “hunter.”
What will Day Three produce?
Can I become a hunter by perseverance?
Or, is it the pleasure of a morning’s forest reverie that draws this poet and his pen?
November 5, 2017