Saturday, June 4, 2011

Unexpected Birth

During my eighth period hall-walking duty, I heard a commotion in the downstairs hallway by the gym. The school nurse, who was standing with the school's security officer and a local police officer, told me a deer had given birth to two fawns in an outside alcove. Staff and students had watched while the new mom hustled into the woods with one of her newborns, leaving the other fawn in the shade of our concrete building. Worry filled the air: what would happen to the new fawn?

After the final bell rang, I stopped by the main office to return the radio and check my mailbox. One of the secretaries ran in. She reported to her colleagues that the mother deer had returned and was feeding her fawn. "This is so endearing," she said as she caught her breath. We all laughed at her inadvertent pun.

Why did the sight of this deer and her fawns strike so many? After all, the Northeastern suburbs are overrun with deer. Most people see them as a nuisance. They nibble on front-lawn flowers, they carry Lyme disease and they wander onto highways.They're sometimes called "rats with hooves."

And yet, these unexpected events - the giving birth, the mother leaving, the fawn waiting her return and the mother returning to feed her fawn - interrupted the reality of a busy high school. These events woke me up to the fact that the reality we see in front of us is not the only reality.

"Life is hunger, thirst, and passion for an ultimate object, which looms over the horizon, and yet always lies beyond it. When this is recognized, man becomes a tireless searcher. "

Father Luigi Giussani


  1. What a beautiful post, Allison. This event at your school is wonderful, and I so appreciate how you talk about it here, the ways we see things through our filtered perceptions, and then we get jogged out of them and become more aware.

  2. Thank you, Ruth! I love your blogs and I appreciate your stopping by and reading mine.

  3. Oh Allison... that took my breath away. What a sacramental moment, very beautiful!