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Archive for January, 2012

It lasted only a moment, and was so fleeting a vision I wondered if I could believe my eyes.  But there they were – quietly walking out of the dark, four deer, crossing in front of me.  I had arrived at the home of a catering client in Concord, a lovely home adjacent to a pond, off a major road yet tucked in the woods.  My client was late getting to the house and I sat in my car to stay warm as I thought about what to do to track him down.

In the midst of my fretting, while talking to his executive assistant on the phone, it happened.  Softly, moving with caution and watchfulness, the beautiful animals were headed toward the conservation land across the road, no doubt.  I saw a couple of adults followed by juveniles with gentle spots on their bodies.  I stopped talking on the phone because I couldn’t speak — it was just one of those moments.

Every year, as we attend The Christmas Revels, a show which changes each year yet manages to weave tradition, history, holiday practices from centuries ago in far-off lands, and pagan celebrations, I wait for the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance to be performed.  It’s a required element for any Christmas Revels show, no matter where the show is done – in any of the nine cities across the US where there are Revels companies.  The dance was first done in a small village of Staffordshire, England, and dates back to the Middle Ages.  The music which the Revels uses is mysterious and ritualistic. The performers creep onto the stage, often lit by the moon, carrying antlers, carrying out their ancient movements.

And so it was with these live dancers that I saw in the woods last night…they quietly crept out of the shadows and, feeling safe enough to proceed, ventured forth in moon glow, toward ponds and meadows and bits of food, scarce in the winter cold.  It was a tiny moment of magic, and one that I will hold in my mind’s eye, for a very long while.

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