Beauty. Danger. Confusion.

Look where you're going.

One of my favorite ways to start the day is an hour-long walk with my friend Christie. We meet up a little after sunrise. It is quiet then, just birdsong and our conversation. We may start out discussing work or family but tend to veer off in all sorts of directions, typically on to the Deeper Meaning of things. Okay, we talk about aging too. We’re both in our 50’s and more than a tad annoyed at various body systems that aren’t in great operating order. We usually manage to verbally rummage around until we find a jot of wisdom we can gain from these problems.

A few weeks ago on a misty morning, we were walking and talking full tilt when I suddenly spotted something ahead of us. I gasped. I flung my arm out to stop Christie. I suspect we came to such an abrupt halt that we both wavered like cartoon characters.

“A buck!” I whispered.

There, beyond a rise in the road, was a huge deer. Christie and I looked at it for what may have been a full minute. She saw its white chest. I saw its upright posture, unmoving and alert. We both wondered if it would even be safe to continue in that direction.

That is, until we simultaneously realized we were not looking at a magnificent animal. There was no deer in the road. There never had been a deer in the road. What we were looking at was a mailbox.

Yes, we laughed ourselves silly. One more step and the dark silhouette ahead easily resolved into the outline of a simple roadside mailbox. We laughed some more.

Normally I’d go on to write about some insight I gained from this experience. And I’d probably tuck in some piece of research to demonstrate how easily we humans believe what isn’t verified. But I’m not going to pretend for a moment that I gained even a molecule of wisdom. That’s because my most recent walk with Christie took place on a similarly foggy morning. We approached the same rise in the road. And just for a moment, I gasped aloud again when I spotted the same buck-impersonating-mailbox.

Clearly I have no insight to share. Just a warning if you might ever find yourself taking a walk with me. My delusions are so contagious that Christie gasped that second time too.

14 thoughts on “Beauty. Danger. Confusion.

  1. Dear Laura, I loved this story – it made me smile (and also because I am the same elegant vintage as yourself). There is wisdom to be had. You experienced the deer for all intents and purposes, and then experienced the not-deer. Its a Magritte-like clarity (n’est pas une pipe). Too often we can hold on tight to illusions even though part of us know it for what it really is. Best to let go and laugh.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is RICH, Laura! Thank you for sharing. Can’t tell you how many time my eyes have fooled me! Our brains seem to be wired to put together certain contours and shadows, filling in the pixels to make images. Once when my friend Lynn and I were driving down the turnpike, we were coming up to a tawny mass in the road and both said, “Oh!” at the same time, thinking it was a dead deer. When we got closer, we both said, again AT THE SAME TIME, “Oh!?!” It was a large mashed up, wet cardboard box! We were so relieved and so tickled that we reacted exactly the same way. Perhaps the insight in all of this is that it’s good we can laugh at ourselves? Hope this finds you well and laughing your head off! 🙂 Love and hugs to you! Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad someone else has participated in shared delusions! Someone else believing the same patently false thing makes it that much more real. No wonder people can enter into all sorts of delusions on a larger scale….


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