- that was me upon opening my mail today. It contained an invitation to something called an Author Party, hosted by Harper Collins on July 12 to honour authors published in 2006... in LONDON. Yes, London, England.
It was nearly half past nine, and still light. We stepped out onto the deck with a glass of wine and sat in the twilight, listening to birdsong and the breeze stirring the trees. Somewhere out in our woods I could hear a persistent crackling noise, and I finally got up to go to the railing, glass of wine in hand, and have a look.
Down at the bottom of the garden, stepping lightly and delicately as though into a fairy tale, a young buck with antlers just beginning to branch and still velvet-soft emerged from the trees. He passed under our cedars, and then briefly out of sight... and then I could hear him making his way up the slope, towards the house. I leaned on the railing, keeping very still, waiting... and there he came, out of the darkness, shaped like a dream, and stopped for a moment, staring straight up at me out of huge dark eyes, his big ears turned towards me, listening for danger.
"It's okay," I whispered, "you're beautiful. Be welcome."
We stared at one another, this piece of the wild and me, and then I made him a little bow and left him in possession of the twilit forest. It was his, after all. My seeing him there had been a gift.