This week I had a family emergency in Eastern Washington that required my attention. I went. It was stressful. Must admit, the thought to not go and avoid the drama all together was entertained, but soon pushed to the side by my sense of obligation.

Some of the ways I relieve stress is to drink plenty of water, go to bed early and take walks. Looking around my temporary landscape I searched for a good route to walk; a nice place to clear my head. There was a large flat field nearby that seemed four laps around it might equal a mile, so off I went. Weather was mild and the desert wind felt good on my face. The sunshine made me feel euphoric, if only for a moment. It was most welcomed during this dark Northwest winter.

Signs of Spring were everywhere: the pussy willows plump and furry preempting pink flowers, large pine cones hung heavy on limbs, birds chirped songs of courtship, and the last of Fall’s leaves blew by me, dry, soon to be soil.

Then I saw it- flat grass pressed in the shape of a small group of deer. “They picked the perfect spot to rest” I thought, “This view is beautiful!” A deer family lay here together, together for warmth and protection. I was here in Eastern Washington with my family for the same reasons. A primal urge fell over me to return to the ranch, ending my walk a lap early.

Later that day two of my family members joined me on my circuit, together, walking and talking. When I walked by the place where the deer slept I felt confident that just “being there” for them, with my family, was the best thing I could of done.

Published by

Shannon Laws

Shannon P. Laws, born in Seattle, Washington, lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Author of three poetry books, "Madrona Grove", "Odd Little Things", and "Fallen" and an audiobook of her one-woman satire show on mid-life dating, "You Love Me, You Love Me Not". For seven years she produced award-winning community radio programs that promoted the PNW indie music & art community. Shannon's other interests include operating her voice-over company, Chickadee Productions, and Poetry Club. Since 2015 Poetry Club is dedicated to the neighborhood discussion and sharing of poetry, now available on Podbean at

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