And I’m not talking about the windstorm that nearly destroyed my car and would have killed me if it had been 1 inch closer. No, this is the subtler-sneak-up-on-you kind. You go along in life and once in awhile stop and smell the roses or admire the way everything’s green in the spring or crisp and white in the winter. And then you turn a corner (literally) and get a shock. There I was, riding my horse, slipping down this slope behind the barn that leads to a little valley with a stream running through it (sounds really picturesque, right?). As Larry (the horse) and I start down the slope, there are two fat blue jays flitting just ahead of us from tree to tree like an honour guard to escort us. Near the bottom, we pull clear of the trees that line the path and we can see out to the valley and an absolutely gorgeous white tail deer some into view about 30 feet away bounding just to our left and a bit ahead. Well, you can’t get more pristine nature than this. This is truly a wake up and smell the granola scene while wearing your birkenstock sandals and your organic cotton pjs. But what was going through MY head as Larry came to a dead stop on the rocky slope and his head went up and ears went forward was “please, please, please don’t drop your shoulder, whirl, and through me on the ground, cuz that’s going to hurt!” – seriously, a lot can go through a girl’s head in moments like these. Thankfully, my horse is old enough that he thinks antics like those take far too much energy these days. He actually listened to me to move forward (towards the scary-horse-eating deer) off the rocks onto the grass. To the non-riders out there, this doesn’t mean that Larry wasn’t still thinking about bolting back to the barn, but at least if I fell off, the grass would hurt less (theoretically). I will give Larry some credit in that the deer was very large (the biggest I’ve seen on the property) and very loud (I never knew deer make a coughing sound reminiscent of old Chinese guys just as they clear their throats ready to expel …. well, never mind, mucus is involved in that story) and could very well have taken my poor horse in a fight. What was the point of this post again? oh yeah, that while we weekend warriors think ourselves fairly close to nature, every once in awhile, it sends something our way that slaps you upside the head and says “pay attention!” I hope I never miss those moments.