maybe miracles

Driving home through the mountain dusk, I glimpse, out of my eye’s corner, a young stag waiting between the tree line and the road. He is the color of shadows, and it is a miracle that I notice him standing there, still as the mountain. I slow down, look into his eyes that are looking into mine. At moments like this, I really do know what the word “frisson” means.
I am the only car on the road, and he waits until I pass him before he starts to move out. I can see him in the rear view mirror as he trots across the road and through someone’s dark yard. Unlike me, he is singly attentive to where he’s going — unlike me, who is still looking at where I’d been.
I am driving home through the mountain dusk on the way back from taking my mother to Mass. That, in itself, is a minor miracte. She’s been asking to go for several weeks now, but this is the first Saturday that she’s been in any mental shape to get dressed and go out in public.
In my lifetime, I have been to hundreds of Masses in dozens of churches, and it’s been what seems like another lifetime since I connected with the maybe miracle that the Catholic Mass is supposed to imitate. Tonight, I sat and watched the rote rendering of what is supposed to be as moving as any poetry, remembering that, as a child, when I got bored during Mass I would turn the pages in my Sunday MIssal to the Gospels, where I would pick up on the continuing saga of the miracle maker. Unfotrunately, the missals provided in the pews tonight were gospel-less, so I resorted to literally twiddling my thumbs, stopping only to help my mother stand, sit, kneel, stand, sit, kneel….
A stag waiting in the shadows for me to pass — more moving than any Mass.

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