It had been the most horrible night, with repeated flashbacks. I felt surrounded by danger and panicky emotions boiled to the surface and repeated self-harming had only numbed it for a few minutes at a time.
I was exhausted but gave up on going to sleep in the early hours as I knew I’d soon have to get up for work. As it got lighter, I was in a numb state where I was not sure any more if things were real or if I was watching everything through glass (this happens to me sometimes after an intense period of distress). I was standing staring out of the window into the communal garden.
Suddenly, the tiniest little deer (muntjack?) came walking very slowly and calmly across the lawn. He stopped to nibble some grass and stood for several moments looking around before, just as calmly, walking on and following the path round the side of the building out of sight. He showed none of the timidity deer often have round people and what he was doing so far into the city centre, I don’t know.
Coming after the strain of that night, it was a most precious moment. I don’t know what I felt. It seemed ethereal. Just I knew I was not quite so numb and disconnected the rest of that day, and I often think back to that little deer, walking in the early morning.
There really are beautiful and unexpected things everywhere, no matter how much pain we are feeling. Perhaps the times we are startled into watching them and drawn out of the pain by their beauty, will help our recovery.