Last week, a doe we have named Brownie, dines on acorns scattered across our lawn. I walk toward her. Pop, the firecracker nut announces my approach. Spooked by the alarm, she walks to the woods.
Today, I avoid acorns as I approach her. Other deer lift tails and run. Brownie lingers. I recall my wife, Suzan’s, observation this morning. “Brownie’s inquisitive. She’s different from the other deer. Brownie wants to know us.”
Yes, Brownie is special. I want to connect with her too. Now I’m 30 feet from her. I turn and walk obliquely in her direction. Unfazed, Brownie continues her feast. After 10 paces I stop and sit. She meanders in my direction. At eight feet distant, Brownie pauses; nostrils flare. She sniffs the breeze that flows between us. Eyes, the color of wet leaves beneath her, gaze into mine. Her neck muscles ripple. Magnetic energy flows between us. Brownie turns and strolls back to the woods.
I squint into the telescope eyepiece. Why is the best viewing of the planets on the coldest nights? The constellation Orion blazes overhead - jewels float in a sea of black velvet. Knowledge of the answer to my rhetorical question doesn’t lessen the chill. My eyes water as I shiver. “I still can’t see the rings,” I complain.
The astronomy club instructor is empathic with my plight. “If you want to see Saturn’s rings, avert your vision.”
A fuzzy dot swims in the eyepiece. “Avert my vision, what do you mean?” I ask.
“Your eye include rods and cones to collect light,” the instructor explains. “Rods are located at the back of your eye, in the center, behind the pupil. Rods are sensitive to bright light for daytime vision. Cones surround the rods. Cones gather the faint light of distant stars and planets.”
“To see with our cones,” he continues, “we avert our vision. We do this when we shift our focus past the center of the pupil toward the edge of our vision. If you want to see the rings of Saturn, look beyond what you desire.”
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Richard Wilberg, MS, PLCC, ACC
Life Coach for Personal Fulfillment and Career Success
About the Author
Richard Wilberg writes fiction, creative non-fiction, self-help, and career counseling articles. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.