At last year's Upward Bound award event in the Performing Arts Center, there was a little fawn who had become separated from its mother. It was curled up in the foliage close to the building, trying to hide from the humans, waiting for its mother to return. The fawn was the inspiration for this piece.
You couldn't readily see him.
Where? Oh, right there. Yes.
Spots, white on brown. Outsized ears.
Long legs folded up tight
Humans on the other side of glass,
Looking out, captivated, by a baby animal
Who didn't belong there, but who wasn't going to move.
He waited for his mother to come and show him what to do.
Frightened, he stayed still
As still as a stone
While his heart beat fast, his eyes darted around, his legs trembled,
Fearful of the people and people noises:
Talking, laughter, doors shutting,
The calls of other animals,
The scratchy spreading yew beneath his belly,
The bright sky above
Rapidly turning to dusk...
Fearful of everything
Hungry, cold, needing attention,
He didn't know what else to do.
He didn't know he could do anything.
How many of us are frozen in one place
Waiting for someone to show us the way
Waiting for an answer
Waiting for reassurance and comfort?
Do we stay where it's safe
Waiting for someone bigger or older to show us the way?
How will we know who this person is?
Who can we trust?
Or do we gather all our strength, plant our feet, get up, and walk into the unknown?
The next day, the fawn was gone.
When was the moment he decided to get up
On those wobbly little legs and start walking?
Did he follow his mother?
Did he remember his way out?
Or did he just start walking because he knew he didn't want to stay there
If there had been people around to see it happen
On the other side of glass
They would have watched it happen, quietly saying, Yes! You can do it!
Not wanting to scare the fawn
Wanting to stay in the background
But wanting to make sure he made it safely away.
Willing the fawn to get up, to try, to be brave.
The first few steps tentative and doubtful
But gaining strength and confidence as he went.
There are people on the other side of the glass in your world.
They know you can do it.
They are there cheering you on
Even when you can't hear them.
They are eager to see you stand up and walk out into the world.
You are ready.
You can do it.