Had a beautiful stroll this morning on a trail in a forest. The leaves on the trees were shades of red and orange and yellow and the sun was shining brightly. Suddenly not far away on the trail I saw a deer. They come down into this part of the forest because it is a refuge, safe from hunters. It stood and watched me carefully, with big bright eyes. I was full of tenderness toward this timid creature, but it turned away, afraid to trust any human.
The human heart is like that. We want so much to connect, to relax with others, but we wait to see and test if they can actually hold our hearts and our fears. We seem to continually be on the alert for danger. Frequently we have moments like this encounter – with people or with events in our life – when we are faced with a choice. Do we keep the heart open or do we turn away? Can we stay open to all we encounter, knowing that everything we meet can be worked with. I know I find this hard and often say “no” to life as it presents itself in this moment and I contract and pull away.