Romance, in my humble opinion, has little to do with any specific location. It exists in a sequence of illuminated moments…snapshots taken when at least expected, and occur in the least likely of places. Sometimes all it takes to elucidate a moment is to share it with the right person.
While we were in the states for thanksgiving many years ago, we were invited to hunt at the property of my mother-in law’s cousin. “There were herds of deer at my field”, Uncle Cecil told us. The next day we drove to his property, in the middle of nowhere. He already had a deer stand ready for us and we sat there for hours waiting for a buck or two to come out. We didn’t see any. For the next few days, twice a day, in the morning before the sun rises, and in the afternoon before the sun sets, we would be sitting on the deer stand for 2-3 hours. I was very excited to get a glimpse of various wild game while Jared was thrilled to shot at least one or two bucks to add to his trophy collection, and also to fill his mom’s freezer with deer meat. After hunting for five successive days, I was getting weary of not seeing the ‘herd of deer’ we were promised to see. It was my first time to go deer hunting and I started to get so bored and told Jared that I have had enough of it. “Not a single deer was in sight and I am stiff bored and cold so let’s just call it a day and get out of here.” I told him. He simply wrapped himself around me and said, “Let’s wait till it gets dark, my dear, and we’ll go home.” Jared whispered. It was very windy, biting cold, and mosquitoes, flies and other insects abound. It got very monotonous and annoying.
As we saw the sun setting down in the horizon, we could hardly see more than a hundred yard or so in any direction. It was very quiet except for the leaves moving by the strong winds. There was no sign of anyone else. We might have been alone in the world, so it seems. And then, from out of the woods, they came, a herd of wild deer, moving like ghosts across the soy bean field. We took our binoculars to have a closer look and could hardly believe there’s too many of them that we lost track of their numbers even when we tried to count. They paid no attention to us at all but simply came running out from the pine trees in horde and started eating some of the crops left on the field. I am glad that no one else but ourselves saw them there. That would have diminished it. We watched them move around the field until it got too dark to even see the hands in front of us. It was in that particular moment, in that dreary place, Jared and I had shared a moment of unexpected magic. No amount of planning could ever hope to duplicate that experience.
Note: This was my journal entry a week after that experience. I’ve simply added a title and changed the phrase, “a couple of days ago” to “many years ago”. The photograph was taken just as the sun was setting over the deer stand at Uncle Cecil’s farm in Nedy, DeWitt, Arkansas.