I've been waiting since I started this blog back in March to write this story.
It happened one New Year's Eve, perhaps four or five years ago. A snowstorm had been forecast, and as the day wore on, the forecast proved to be right. Huge snowflakes began to fall, quickly covering the ground and starting to pile up.
We are not party goers, so New Year's Eve was just like any other evening for us. My husband was snoring in front of the TV, and I was on the computer reading blogs. As the evening wore on, I looked out the window into our back yard to see how the storm was progressing.
And there, in the dimness, I saw a large deer standing at the edge of the yard, her back to the trees, with the soft, heavy snowflakes drifting down around her. It was a scene straight out of a Christmas card.
As I watched, things became more interesting. A much smaller deer materialized from the side of our yard, approached the large one and they touched noses for several seconds. Then the little one ambled off again to graze on our shrubs.
By this time I had become more alert, and noticed a second small deer to one side, and as I watched, it, too, approached the large deer, touched noses, and was sent away to graze some more.
I watched in fascination as these actions were repeated several times over. The large deer, which I have to think was the mother, didn't take a bite for herself. She stood as still as a statue, and was soon covered in snow, barely visible. But she kept sending her babies back to eat more, somehow sensing that the coming weather would make it hard to find food for an extended period, and trying to store up food the only way she knew how - in her babies' bellies.
I left the window for a reason I can no longer recall, and when I returned, all three deer were gone.
I thought of them over the next three days as we experienced one of our more severe snowstorms in the recent past. It took that long for our street to be plowed, and until it was, we could not leave our yard, the snow was so deep. It was undoubtedly hard for all wildlife to get around and find food, and it still hurts my heart to think of that mother's devotion and the struggle she and her little ones must have had for weeks after that storm.
Every time we have a heavy, soft snowfall - and every New Year's Eve - I remember that mama and her two babies.
And that is my New Year's Eve story, a day early.
Happy New Year, friends. I hope 2017 treats you well.
Do you have a favourite New Year's Eve memory you'd like to share? I'd love to hear it.