I now (day 7) walk early in the morning, in the New Bedford equivalent of Central Park (not really, but it does have a zoo and paths and flowers, pigeons, ducks ponds,and errant people). It’s called Buttonwood Park and Zoo and actually was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, so it does have a Central Park connection (on a much, much, smaller scale). Since it is very quiet at that time I am able to collect my thoughts and it is a great way to start the morning. As I walked, I felt someone’s eyes on me. I looked around, saw no one , but could not shake the feeling that I was being watched. I turned and saw a deer staring at me. He stood about 25 yards away in the brambles and bushes of honeysuckle and rhododendron. Our eyes locked and we stood our ground and neither of us moved. Then it became awkward….I had to turn away. Irving (as I decided he was called) won that staring contest. I smiled (silently…you know what that feels like). I continued along. Irving looked gentle and yet significant. It was a moment I carried away with me.
So, as to the name, Irving. I had my husband read my post from yesterday. I asked him (although I knew the answer, which happens to people who have that connection between them) whether he minded whether I used his name, once in a while. He said, actually he did mind, and said I should refer to him as “Irving”. Somehow, I couldn’t call him Irving. Then this morning, I met Irving the deer, and I knew that my husband will be mentioned only as my FHB (favorite human being), when he is part of my story.
Sometimes, when we already know the answer to the question we ask, we have to recognize whose needs are we trying to meet, our own, or someone else’s. I think it is an important distinction. It has to do with paying attention. The answer is generally right in front of us or perhaps in the bushes and brambles of our morning routine.