Ever VigilantNearing home the other night, I crested a hill to find three big deer in the middle of the road ahead of me. I hit the brakes, and as I got closer to them, my mind told me to swerve but my hands didn’t turn the wheel. Quietly, no panic, no foul language, I hoped for the best. In the end, the car was fine, the deer were fine, and I was fine.

(The next day I washed all of the deer poop off of the car.)

I reminded myself to stay vigilant: Just because you’re close to home, close to the finish line, is not reason to let your guard down or get lax about your task. Ever vigilant.

I told all of this to the local garage, and they checked out the car thoroughly, and found no damage. It’s as if the entire thing happened in another reality and maybe didn’t happen at all, except that I know it did.

And then this: The next night as I let the dog out, I turned on the outside lights like usual. In the spotlight of the back yard stood a large deer. I went outside, and I said hello. It stayed there for a minute or two, then went on its way in no particular hurry. I’d never seen deer in the yard before. It was a nice surprise.

For a moment I thought they were coming after me, that they knew where I lived, and that maybe I’d see deer jumping out at me left and right from now on. But I quickly let that go, preferring instead to think that the deer was checking on me. Our short visit in the yard allowed us to see that we were each alright.

Ever vigilant. For one and all.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at JodyBrown.com/writing.