I think wild deer are beautiful. But . . . .
A large church was recently built next to our neighborhood, and the massive parking lot that was created took away a large area of woods. These woods were heretofore the domain of wild deer, hawks, and a number of less obtrusive animals. Now, evidently, they roam our neighborhood searching for food.
I love animals of many kinds. I have gourds that have been dried and made into bird houses just so I can watch the comings and goings of various winged creatures; they are beautiful to observe. When we used to live in the country there were ample opportunities to watch deer, and on occasion our car lights would hit upon as many as nine sets of red eyes in the night as they wandered our property.
Now, we live in the city. Where there are no deer.
Except, that’s no longer true. Much of their wooded land has now been paved flat, and they still manage to survive somehow. Well . . . I can be more precise about the “somehow” than that; they are eating my flowers.
We went to great trouble, and some expense, to plant our collection of beauties. But the deer seem to have no appreciation for our trouble. They wait until there is cover of night, then they eat the tops off of our Ruellia, our Black Eyed Susan, our Rose of Sharon, and our ornate ground cover.
And I am mad!
I also recently found myself fuming about the squirrel in the backyard who discovered how to climb an iron rod and then position himself in an intimate entwine around the fancy bird feeder my neighbor gave me as a Father’s Day gift. I posted rocks on the porch railing so I could go out quickly and try to nail him with one of the rocks. I get close but . . . I always miss. But oh, how I try.
It was directly reminiscent of a picture of me from many years ago bounding down the steps in our house shirtless, in shorts and bare feet, bursting out the aluminum back door with rocks in hand, wheeling around the corner and letting those rocks try and find their mark on two roving dogs that often harassed our pet dogs. Once I pulled my hamstring badly in this race to judgment.
I was so filled with anger.
I am better with my anger in many respects now. Yet, here I am still bounding out the back door in an attempt to teach the squirrel a lesson he won’t forget. Of course, I know that if I was ever to truly stop him there would be another to take his place. Then another. And another.
And all the while what is more crucial to my life than whether or not I am successful at inflicting injury on some animal simply trying to eat . . . is the damage it does to me. The rise in blood pressure, the risk of moving so quickly that I injure my own self rather than the perpetrator, the obsessive and all-controlling mindset that makes its home in my psyche and upstages all other agendas with a new reactionary mantra: “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
Can I lay it all down? Can I be satisfied with doing what is sane in order to protect my birdseed, my flowers, etc.? We shall see.
One thing’s for certain. If I persist in my efforts to “protect my world at any cost “. . . I will not only lose the things I hold dear to me, but I will lose my own life, too.
Unbridled anger is a recipe for certain doom.