I wasn't quite sure what to do. I mean, there isn't a manual for this kind of thing.
I'd been driving on the back road by our house, and a deer had bounded across the road. That isn't unusual in Southern Indiana. But behind her, a little fawn - barely able to walk - tried to cross the street as well.
Her mom, apparently afraid of my car, had continued on into the woods. The fawn made it just to the side of the road, then paused there - unsure what to do next.
That made two of us.
I pulled over to the side of the road and climbed out of my car. The fawn had settled herself down into the tall grasses, barely visible even from where I was standing. I did take a couple of photos (with a long lens - don't worry, I wasn't THAT close), but was also trying to find her mom. I wasn't comfortable just leaving this poor little animal huddling so close to the road.
Knowing that her mom might be watching, and too afraid to come back while I was there, I climbed back in my car and headed a bit up the road. I watched for a few minutes. Eventually, I saw the fawn hobble up onto her legs, and cautiously venture on into the forest.
I'd like to think she's walking with her mom right now.
The past few weeks have brought several opportunities to stop and view the wildlife.
(I posted a few photos on Facebook of some turtles that I've rescued off the road - including these little guys below.)
And while the animals and their stories are fascinating enough, what most brings a smile to my face is this:
I had the time to stop.
I wasn't so rushed that I felt the need to keep driving, to hurry on to my destination.
In each case, I was observant enough to see the animal, and present enough to engage with the moment. It was a choice, of course. I had places to be and schedules to keep.
But day by day, I'm designing my life so that those very-loose schedules include space for pauses.
Because I never know who might show up in front of me.