Magical Meetings

There is so much happiness inside me when I am out hiking – just the fact
of walking in Nature! Sometimes, however, this happiness turns into pure
bliss, and that is when I have an encounter with a wild animal.
I am not talking about a simple crossing of each other’s paths, which happens
quite often, but a proper encounter when both of us stop and really become
aware of each other. These moments may just last a few precious seconds,
but they feel truly magical.
Once I came around a bend in the deep forest, and there he stood: a big male
deer with majestic antlers. Perhaps our eyes only met for a split second before
he darted off among the trees, but I remained unmoving for quite a while,
stunned by almost having bumped into to this huge, elegant animal.
Squirrels seem to be a bit curious, so quite often they stop and watch me
approaching. At times they make funny squealing noises, and I don’t know
if they’re angry, afraid or just communicative.
Recently we had the enormous pleasure of discovering a colourful green lizard
on the side of our path. For once we didn’t just get a glimpse of this exotically
looking reptile, but he stayed put there for several minutes, just watching us.
What a gift; I got plenty of time to take several close-ups of him- it was as
if he was posing! That meeting truly was the peak of an in all ways extraordinary hike.
In the case of the meeting with the lizard I could move very slowly without
him rushing off, but normally immobility is key during these meetings. Both
the animal and I freeze, and hold our breaths. At least I do 😉 If my counterpart
stands still for a bit longer I often try to slowly, slowly take out my camera, but
I hardly ever succeed before he or she rushes off.
Silly me! I should just enjoy that magical moment, without thinking of keeping
it. The preciousness of these meetings lies not in proving that they happened,
but in what I feel to be a wordless communication between two living creatures
that normally avoid each other. Right there and then they may realise that, in
fact, they’re equals.

Its Swedish name, “Emerald Lizard”, fits this reptile so well

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