I take a walk in my mother’s shoes. My familiar companion, eyes bright with anticipation, pauses just long enough to roll in the soft grass by the gate before she’s off to seek out undiscovered treasures.
The seven-year-old kid in my mind with unbrushed hair and dirty overalls reminds me to practice walking quietly, letting the heel of each shoe press lightly into uncut grass without touching the scattered array of fallen leaves. My efforts are rewarded when I duck beneath low-hanging branches and come face to face with two startled deer, ears pricked forward and eyes frozen in alarm at my sudden presence.
We remain motionless for a slow eternity of locked eyes and held breath, two late-morning birds arguing in the branches above us. Then the taller of the two creatures takes a small step towards the shadows, and another, and they’ve disappeared over the hill and through the fence and left the clearing to be empty and quiet again.