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The Deer

I was commuting to work every day and it was almost an hour each way. Sometimes in the morning on the way to the office a feeling would come over me. I am sure you have gotten this feeling too. It is a feeling of bewilderment. That's the best I can describe it. Just bewilderment. Wondering what I am doing, why I am doing this. On some mornings, through the glass of my windshield I would see something that touched my heart. Sometimes it was the color of the moon as it set or rose or sometimes just the crispness of the air or maybe the texture of the clouds. In every case a little bit of the beauty of the world crept into my commute. When something like this happened it always made me feel bad. My thoughts would go to "What am I doing wrong here?" Is it right that I am going off to the office building to spend ten hours in a cube to do things that really didn't matter? It always made me feel disconnected from what really matters in life.

One morning the feeling was overwhelming and I just had to pull over and think for a few minutes. I was driving north on the three lane highway, in the left lane and just making my way to another day of work. It was early but the sun was already up and burning the dew away. The traffic was light so I was making good time. And just like this, in a flash I passed by a deer. It was laying in the median between the northbound and southbound lanes. It was only a foot from the lane of the highway and it was curled up into a ball as if were taking a nap. It looked exactly as a cat would when it curls up to sleep. It was dead. It probably tried to make it across the highway during the night, got hit by a car and crawled over to the median curled itself into a ball and died.

Two thoughts came to me. The first was that the deer was so beautiful. There is a purity about a deer. It is a simple creature that lives simply, raises its family and grazes on the world. It has a beautful coat and a beautiful grace about the way it moves.

The second thought that hit me was that something was very wrong with the picture I belonged to. The automobile has poisoned the world. Everyday all the cars pollute the air, spill gas and oil into the rivers. We pave over the beauty of the world and we collide into and kill the creatures that walk it.

So on my way to the office, and my cube this morning a deep feeling of loss came over me. I knew that something was wrong with what I was doing.