I hit and killed a deer on my way home last night, our worlds colliding at one very precise moment in time. Those who know me well know that this is not the kind of thing that my sensitive nervous system typically handles in a skillful way. I flinched and closed my eyes on impact, and when I opened them I didn’t see the deer within my frazzled field of vision. I drove the last few minutes home trembling before turning back to find it, laying my hand on her soft, lifeless body and saying a prayer. There was guilt and grief, and also an unusually calm clarity.
As humans there is always death just beyond our fingertips – on our dinner plates, below our feet, keeping our bodies warm, fueling our various wants and needs – but we are often so far removed that we do not have any kind of relationship with it. There is an intimacy at the precipice of life and death that brings the veil very thin, and creates a deeper well to acknowledge, take responsibility, offer gratitude, and grieve. To let it take up space in your heart and feel into the greater cycles that are constantly turning, the aliveness and sentience in everything around us, shimmering at the outer edges of our vision. There is power in giving and taking life that deserves our full attention and reverence – the power of creation and destruction is woven into the fabric of our collective being, and we do a great disservice to ourselves by pulling our threads out of the tapestry.
It is not lost on me that there are always messages below the surface, and shared contracts being fulfilled. The deer folk have always come to me with reminders of grace, ease, and gentleness, with their sweet innocence, and it is interesting that we would come together in this intimately violent way. I also notice this comes at a time when the archetype of the sweet good girl has been dying a slow death inside of me, and may very well be meeting her ultimate and swift end as we speak. I also know, simultaneously, that this did not happen *for* me, and none of it means anything. But there is always sticky sweet medicine dripping from every sacred and profane exchange, and I will always choose to drink up every last drop.