• Marnie Hammar

Let Me Take and Eat


Every day they come, this family of deer that lives in the woods behind my very suburban house. They live in a small, narrow strip of land that extends from a neighboring park, surrounded by subdivision homes on three sides. They know nothing of why we’re home more these days. They know nothing even of fear, as they stand and stare, wondering why I’m in their space when I clap at them to leave my lupines alone.⁠⠀

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And every day, they come to my fence, enter my yard. They scale the fence with no exertion, from a stance of stillness. Once they clear the wooden rails, showing off their effortless invasion, they land to peruse and assess the offerings around my pine trees and mulch and patio furniture. ⁠⠀

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I learn from them, as they keep coming through the seasons. Fourteen winters we’ve watched them still come, through the cold and hard. Through the warmer and slower season of summer. The short days. The long days. The dry and calm. The blustery and brisk. ⁠⠀

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They always come.⁠⠀

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They are not swayed by temperature or elements or climate. They are not deterred by difficulty or mood. I learn from watching them pry leaves from branches even as the winds blow. They are driven by the simple, uncomplicated need to be nourished. The need to be fed overcomes feelings. The need for sustenance outweighs circumstance. ⁠⠀

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I pray for my faith to be the same. I pray that my heart is unaltered by unknowns and uncertainty, undeterred by season or change. ⁠⠀

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Lord, let my coming to you be out of need. Like spring’s perennial stretching forth, let me unfold into you because it’s just what I do. Like the deer feeding even in the rain, let my need for you be stronger than simply choice. Let me take and eat because my need is so great that I think nothing of the season.⁠


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