Today is the first day of deer-by-rifle season, and the sunrise was glorious. Like my late lamented terrier, I was not bothered by gunfire most of my life, but these last few years it has started to unsettle me, as though I had developed a sensitivity. I do not mind the fact that people eat deer; indeed, somebody has to do it. A few weeks ago when our resident bucklet killed the main trunk of my new tulip magnolia by flossing his antlers with it, I was ready to snap off those handsome decorations and use his four points to stab him through the heart.
It’s the noise that bothers me, and the suddenness of it all, the fact that sometimes you are standing around minding your own business, and then there is a loud noise or a soft noise or no noise at all and a second later you are dead. Surprise! You’re dead! Or the deer standing right next to you is dead. Or you hear the noise over the hill and know that somebody you probably knew, a cousin maybe, is dead. This is what bothers me.
However, a sunrise like this does seem to say, as the Navajo do, “This is a good day to die.” If I were going to be shot at the breakfast table, I would like it to be on a mild morning like this one, looking at a sunrise like that.