word craft


The Red Fox

winter rainbow

It is the hol­i­day sea­son again. This time it’s a peri­od of chaos, vio­lence, and con­fu­sion. But some­times, liv­ing in a for­est as I do, I get a glimpse of nature in all its liv­ing beau­ty, its calm­ing beauty.

So, it was this gray (9 am) morn­ing, cloudy, with light snow falling — on yesterday’s snow — when I descend­ed from our sec­ond floor to the first. At the bot­tom of the steps is a heavy door, set with dou­ble glass, which opens onto a side porch and beyond. As I reached the main floor I looked out. Sit­ting there, star­ing into our house, was a red fox. 

I stared back.

She/he (?) was with win­ter coat, a deep rusty red, dark paws, a white chest, and a thick, big bushy gray tail. Perky ears. Long red snout, white fringed, black nose leather. A very beau­ti­ful crea­ture. Inscrutable expression.

The two of us just looked at one another.

(I can’t show you because I’m not one of those peo­ple who car­ries a cam­era in my hip pock­et 24/7. I pre­fer to look and shape a memory.)

I knew what I was see­ing. What did the fox see?

When the fox moved away, I went out because I had a chore to which I need­ed to attend. The fox was gone.

But as I was com­ing back from attend­ing to my task — walk­ing along the dri­ve­way — the fox reap­peared, saw me, and stopped, per­haps fif­teen feet away. Once again we looked at one anoth­er. Had it come back to give me a message?

“Good morn­ing, fox,” I said in an even voice. “Nice to see you. Off to work? Hunt­ing for food? Mer­ry Christmas!”

The fox — who must have heard me — came slow­ly for­ward, stopped — ten feet away — then turned, and made a wide cir­cle around me, its light weight allow­ing her to walk atop the snow. No pan­ic. No alarm, just a slow trot with an occa­sion­al glance at me, before dis­ap­pear­ing over a hill.

I came back inside and sat down at my desk. That fox and I both had work to do.

But I felt priv­i­leged to have shared a moment of calm nature in all its beau­ty. For a moment the world’s chaos retreated.

Lucky me.

May you all find such moments this com­ing year.

winter sun

1 thought on “The Red Fox”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.