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  • Walking, my head down, I was following paw tracks left in the freshly fallen snow. The tracks trailed neatly off into the distance. The snow sparkled under the sun and patches of blue sky. A few snow flakes were beginning to fall again as the sky began to change. I wasn't really seeing the fat paw tracks or the sky or the falling snow. I was lost in the thoughts of my 17 year old self. I had to go back to school away from my boyfriend and this place that I loved.

    I had escaped to a friend's cabin in this white landscape in the woods. I needed to think. I needed some sanctuary. I walked alone for a long while. My eyes were turned inward within the silent snowy world.

    Suddenly, a big white hare jumped across the cat tracks in front of me and awakened me to my surroundings. The hare shouted, " You are not going to catch me for I know your tricks." The hare zigged and zagged and ran helter skelter to the distant woods. I stopped and looked and listened and scanned the blue white snow for the cat. I could feel it's presence nearby. I looked down at my feet and the cat tracks had doubled back. I had not even noticed. Now that cat is behind me, I thought and it is tracking me.

    I turned to walk back to the cabin, hyper vigilant now. I forced myself not to run but kept walking at the same pace; calculating the distance to be some miles. I continued on, all my senses alive. My boots trudged on with great purpose. I smiled a little at my new predicament as it didn't seem real. My thoughts of the city, school, and boyfriends all gone.

    At long last I spied the cabin and turned directly for the fastest route. As I drew nearer to safety, I saw the wood stacked by an embankment. The cabin would be cold and I needed to start a fire. I scanned around the cabin and then there she was, a Lynx lying on the embankment right above the cabin door. We locked eyes. Her wild eyes wide open and full of curiosity and intensity to survive. I admired her spotted furry coat, her tufted flirty ears, her breathtaking beauty. I watched to see if any part of her twitched or itched. Then I filled my arms with wood watching her the whole time. I decided that if she sprang at me, I would fling the armload of wood at her to buy me a few seconds of time. I kept staring into her eyes above me now as I crashed through the door, wood flying, and pulled the door shut. I inhaled deeply and rejoiced at my communion. Her eyes told me that I would never forget her

    Photo #1 Flickr Creative Commons
    Photo #2 wikimedia commons, photo by Keith Williams
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