This morning spent a very peaceful morning alone walking the woods of Fenner Nature Center with my camera. Pre-motherhood, I did such things quite often. Once you have a child tagging along it is a different experience. Still a good one, but different. As the sun was rising into the hazy morning sky, I walked at my chosen pace with silent steps and no speech, listening to myriad birds singing springtime songs and watching the woods for things to photograph.
Not too far into my walk I saw the flashing white tail of a deer as it bounded out of my path. So I stopped, then moved forward slowly until I was at a point where I could see her through a little clearing in the trees. She looked at me, assessing the threat level. I was still, waiting for her to decide I could be trusted at that distance.
We looked at each other for several minutes. Then she started nibbling at the burgeoning plant life around her and flicking her white tail. This seemed to signal her friends. She was joined first by one other doe, who regarded me with just a bit of suspicion before she too began foraging. And soon thereafter two more friends joined them before they all moved on into the woods.
It occurs to me that this is how our ideas come sometimes. We are out enjoying life when a flash of white catches our eye and we stop a moment, then approach the idea slowly so as not to scare it off. We watch it closely, take in its form, maybe snap some photos or write some notes in order to capture it before it moves on. And if we are patient enough, more ideas come tumbling into the clearing in our mind.
Ideas can be timid, fleeting. Push too much and they can be pushed right out of our minds. But patience, stillness, a willingness to observe and record, can capture them forever.