The Hour of the Deer

The blogger was under the weather this morning, and then I headed off for the city so I missed my early morning blog. Horrors.

So here I am looking at the sunlight on the wall behind my computer. The spot of Earth I’m sitting on will roll completely away from the sun in about half an hour. Something particularly holy happens in the hour before sunrise and the hour before sunset. In the morning, everything becomes profoundly quiet. Indigenous traditions called this the hour of the wolf — when the wolf headed home after a long night of hunting.

When we set our schedule to meditate during these two hours, we decided to call the sunset time the hour of the deer, since that’s when our local deer herd wanders through our back meadow for a last little snack before bed.

But ah, that sunlight. Cast through the trees at a nearly flat angle to our position on Earth, it takes on a buttery shade before the oranges and reds begin to appear. Bronze sunlight dapples the woods, creating a sense that anything could appear there — deer, eagles, fairies … who knows? The magic lasts a long time.

After the sun itself disappears behind the curve of Earth, the sky takes its turn at the palette. Wild roses, hot reds, soothing lavenders, smoky grays, deep oranges, soft violet, and then … the most glorious shading from rich blue-green to deep navy blue. In a few weeks, this is when the bats will wake up and flutter out over the back yard, dipping and diving for the first insect appetizers of the night.

Finally, finally, the whole sky breaths itself into the blackness of deep night.

It’s a show one should never miss.

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