One weekend when I was a young girl, my parents took us camping on the Hat Six Road end of Casper Mountain. Not many people went camping up in that area, and it was pretty primitive. No picnic tables or restrooms, just roughing it. It was going to be a nice quiet weekend. No radio, no television, no camper or tent, just us and our station wagon.

When we first arrived, we laid out a blanket under a tree, with the intent of stretching out to read a book in the afternoon sunshine. As we laid there giggling and reading, we noticed a sweet little bird, who seemed very friendly. She chirped and chirped, and hopped around very near us. We were astonished. We had just never seen a more friendly bird. We must have watched her for 30 minutes, as she became more and more brave, coming closer and closer, until it finally dawned on us that she was not trying to be friendly, she was really quite upset. We began to look around to see what might be the problem, when we saw very near our blanket, on the ground, her nest. We were so close that we could have easily crushed her eggs. She wasn’t being friendly, but she was very brave. She was going to fight for the lives of her little ones in the works, no matter what it took, or what it cost her. Of course, we immediately moved our blanket to a different tree to allow her to have a happy reunion with her eggs.

That was an amazing moment, but it would not prove to be the only special moment of that weekend trip. Very early the next morning, before the sun was up, a deer wandered through our camp. She wasn’t in a hurry. She just slowly made her way through the camp, oblivious to our presence, having her morning meal as she went, and after munching on the grass and flowers, she wandered on across the hillside.

That camping trip was so unusual in that we were the only people there, and it was an area where nature didn’t seem to be at odds with humanity. We felt a oneness with nature that I have never felt in quite the same way since that time. It was awe inspiring.

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