A few weeks ago, I woke up in the morning feeling depressed. As the day progressed, I felt lethargic, unhappy, and completely out of sorts with myself and the world around around me. I told my husband that evening after he got home that I wasn’t feeling very good, and we went to bed without saying much of anything. I hoped that the next morning, I would wake up my usual groggy, but happy, self. It didn’t happen. The next day, I felt even worse. After coming back from my morning walk, I began to groom my dogs like I typically do. I ended up cutting one of Holly’s nails too short, and as it was bleeding she started to whimper. This made me start crying, and when I bent down to look at her nail, she defensively snapped at me and ended up biting my face.
I am fully aware that dog bites are a incredibly touchy subject with people, but more than half of the time, it is usually the fault of the humans that provoke an attack. Holly is old, has cancer, and is getting to be almost impossible to groom. I have a muzzle for her to prevent incidences like this from happening, and know to only groom her for a maximum of 5-10 minutes a day. Normally she will get annoyed and then walk away when she’s done. In the four years that I’ve owned her, this was the first time that she had actually bit me. I should’ve left her muzzle on, should’ve been more gentle, shouldn’t have tried looking through tears, and shouldn’t have hovered over her like I did. While she did break the skin, it wasn’t serious enough to get stitches. It startled me more than anything. Afterwards, she came up to me and began licking my face, then rolled over in submission. Needless to say, we were friends again. It was a stupid error on my part.
The remainder of the day did not get any better. I was on the verge of crying all day, so I buried myself in my work and tried to hide from the world. That night, I picked up Lena Dunham’s audiobook “Not That Kind Of Girl” from the library, and drove around the city, finding errands to run, just as an excuse to keep listening to it. It was the first time that I had laughed in two days, and I found myself feeling a little better. I got home late that night, still feeling a little sad, and went to bed.
On the third morning, I woke up disappointed to realize that my mood hadn’t changed from the night before. My dogs, who usually like sleeping in until 9:00 am, got up with me at 7:30 am. They were probably too well-rested from my frequent early nights. By 8:30 am, we were out of our hour-long walk. Everything from the ground, to the trees, to the fences, had frost on it. The sun was rising, and the sky was the brightest pink and yellow, mixed in with a bit of blue. It was gorgeous. It was also -22°C (-8°F), but there was not a lick of wind. Being overly dressed in my standard Canada winter wear, I was toasty and content. As I walked into the sunrise, snapping photos and playing with the dogs, I felt myself feeling better. I could sense that something was different about that morning.
We turned left at the end of the road, and walked past all of the acreages towards some empty fields. When we got to a clearing, I stopped to watch the sun still coming up over the horizon. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. There, in the distance, were about 20 deer prancing across the field, towards the sun. Look closely at the above photo. Can you see them in the centre? It was the most beautiful thing that I had witnessed in such a long time. I quickly grabbed my phone so that I could always remember this moment, and took a series of photographs. After they had crossed the field and disappeared, we continued on our walk. A few minutes later, my phone ended up dying from the cold, even though it was just at 60%. Damn, I thought. However, I was still relieved to have taken a few pictures.
We went as far as the road could go, turned around, and began to make our way back home. The sky was almost completely pink at that point, and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be able to witness it on such an amazingly still morning. After a few minutes, I saw quick movements to my right in the field opposite the one where I had just seen the herd of deer. I looked over and to my surprise, I saw 6 or 7 more deer leaping across the field, then the road, and finally into the field where I had witnessed the herd before them. Once again, they vanished into the trees under the rising sun. I was astounded by the fact that Holly, Truman, and I were completely surrounded by these spectacular animals. We were in the centre of a ring of deer, and that I would probably never be able to experience something like this again. I felt like Snow White in the middle of an enchanted forest. It was such a magical feeling, and it was one that I was needing, that day, of all days.
Turning away from watching where they had just disappeared, I looked down the road. Standing in our path, was one lone deer. It was watching me, watching it. I thought, what’s it doing? Then I looked over, and saw one last little guy bounding across the field, towards the one that I was having a staring contest with. Once they were together, they both ran off in the same direction as the others. It was the sweetest thing ever. Animals are truly profound.
When we were more than halfway back, the sunrise was at its brightest point. I wanted to document it more than anything, but my phone had died quite awhile ago. Putting my hand into my pocket, I said to myself (sort of jokingly), if there is a God, my phone will turn on. I pulled it out, hit the power button, and the little Apple symbol came up. My phone switched on, and was back at 40%. Oh. My. God. I aimed, took one picture of the sky, and my phone turned off again. The battery was dead. Unbelieving of what just happened, we continued onwards towards home.
For the entire walk, a quote from the film Nymphomaniac was playing over and over in my mind. It was in the beginning of the movie, when Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) was describing herself to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård). She said:
“Perhaps the only difference between me and other people is that I’ve always demanded more from the sunset. More spectacular colors when the sun hit the horizon. That’s perhaps my only sin.”
Those lines stayed with me more than anything else in the film. It was such a raw and honest moment, and a poignant one at that. Self-deprecation is something that I, too, do often. While I found the scenario to be a quite beautiful one, I found myself disagreeing whole-heartedly with that statement. I’ve always been in awe of both the sunrise and the sunset. Nothing makes me feel so little or unimportant as seeing them. In those moments, I realize that my petty problems are insignificant, as there are greater things to focus my attention on. I am also reminded of the fact that there is a God, whether it’s the Almighty One that Christians believe in, or not. I feel broken down and alive, all at the same time.
When I got home that morning and on that third day, I started to feel better. I wasn’t as sad as I had been for the last few days. The culmination of events that took place that morning were exactly what I had needed to pull me out of my depression. Everything in nature is and was just perfect. And whether we’re ready for it or not, the sun will rise again.