By Jean Brody
11:12 AM EST, March 6, 2012
Last night, the strangest thing happened. It was about 2:30 a.m. I have been having night sweats lately and, when that happens, all I can think of is to get cool now, and, when that happens, the first thing that pops into my brain is WINDOW — OPEN IT! Now, mind you, it was 8 degrees last night and there was 5 or 6 inches of snow on the ground, but did I consider that? Of course not.
I really do not know what happens to my body chemistry at night. As long as I can remember, I can’t talk, think, recognize family members or walk a straight line when I first get up. One of the first things my kids had to learn was how to make and deliver instant coffee to my bed and, if they did not achieve this, the entire day ahead could be altered. I had to connect with the living world before I could function, and I haven’t changed one bit and I am 80 years old.
So, last night, my body damp with sweat, I unhooked myself from this blasted oxygen machine and stumbled to the bedroom window. Both Bella and Pierre, our two spoiled cats, up until that moment snuggled deep within the bed covers, opened an eye at me like, “Do you know what time it is, lady? Get back in this bed. You’re letting all the warm out!” Dogged in my pursuit of cold, I flung open the window and felt the welcome blast of cold air cover me.
But, wait just one minute here! Frigid, icy air was not all I felt. Not 4 inches from my face was this huge male deer. Had there not been a screen in the window, he could’ve kissed me (or whatever he could’ve done). Frankly, I don’t know which of us was more startled to see the other. Both of us were very much “into ourselves” and not expecting anyone or anything else to deal with. We each reacted exactly the same way, surprised but certainly not threatened in any way. We just each stood there staring at each other. That lovely creature was just out for a nightly, frosty stroll. Why he was so close to my house I dont know, but his eyes were bright and curious. I even wondered if my bedroom night light could have caught his attention through the window. Who knows?
But, you know me. I heard myself say to this lovely creature, “Well, hello. You look very handsome surrounded by all this white snow. Go right ahead with what you were doing. I was just hot, that’s all.” He continued to stare at me. It was like neither of us wanted to end the moment. We stood, looking directly eye-to-eye at each other. I feel like “the moment” would have gone on longer except for Pierre, my protector cat. He realized that something was going on that he needed to investigate so he jumped up onto the window sill, squarely between me and the deer. And that startled my night visitor, making him step away from the window. And when he stepped away, out of the darkness came his entire family, or I am assuming they were family, but it was pretty dark out there.
Anyway, four sets of big, glassy eyes peered at me through the early morning air. There was no fear, no threat either way and, after one big drink of cold air, I bid them all a good night. As I soundly shut the window and crawled back under the covers, I thought to myself, “What a delight to live where I could have nightly visitors out for a stroll or a berry to eat with no malice or evil intent whatsoever.” Just imagine if those eyes had been human eyes, seemingly peering into my bedroom window at 2:30 a.m.! If it had been of my own species, it would’ve scared the holy crap out of me! Now, isn’t that a sad state of affairs?
The view from the mountains is wondrous.