• Shelly Valinttine

Button Buck

My morning certainly came with an unexpected event. Hitting that little button buck was not something I thought would happen on my drive to the river where I take my medicine walks. This morning brought me a heavy heart, many tears and a powerful personal insight.

The weather was a wintery mix. The road surface had gone from just being wet, to sheer ice just when I saw a family of deer crossing the road ahead of me. I slowed down, and they were all nearly across the road when the last one darted out in front of my car. I could not avoid hitting it even though I had slowed down. Without even thinking I said right out loud, “I just hit love!” As I came to a stop I realized that I might have dragged him while sliding the ice, so I backed up looking for him but did not see him.

My thoughts turned to hope and I thought, “Oh good, maybe it wasn’t that bad.” But just then I saw the buck lying beside the road. Damn, I had indeed dragged him quite a distance. He was flailing, couldn’t get up and was about to flop out into the road. I quickly got out of my car and went to try to move him further into the berm. I knelt down and began to rub his neck. He struggled, and I talked to him, trying to comfort him as my tears began to flow. I apologized for causing him so much pain and sent my intention of love and calmness into his heart. He settled. I continued to comfort him as I thought about what to do next.

I remembered having just passed a Township Police Officer sitting in a parking lot. “I will be back, just be still,” I told the buck before I took off to get the police officer. I cried the whole way.

When I got back, I knelt down by the buck. He was a little jumpy and again, I calmed him down. When the officer approached, the buck got very excited. I continued to calm him down. I was crying again.

The officer was very compassionate and understanding. He was mostly concerned for my safety. I told him I used to raise abandoned fawns, so I knew how to handle deer. He and I discussed options, such as calling game and wildlife. He assured me they would not come out for an injured deer. We thought about the local park system rehabilitation. The officer and I both knew it was too early in the morning and probably not the best choice at 5:30 am. I asked the officer if he would put the young buck down right there and end its suffering. He said he would.

Now I am really bawling. The officer asked me to get back into my vehicle. As I stood to walk to my car, the officer offered me a hug of consolation. He said that he understood because he also had a love for animals. He was very calm and kind - while I was falling apart.

I went to my car and waited to hear the gunshot. When I heard it I got out of my car and went back to the officer and the deer. The deer was still moving, and his eyes were wide open. The officer said, “I think I missed.” The sun was not yet up, and in the dark he had missed. (He hadn’t wanted to startle the deer so he hadn’t used his flashlight.) The officer’s second shot hit its mark and when I returned to the buck it was laying lifeless on the ground.

Since my brother is a seasoned hunter I knew I could call him to come get the buck so the meat wouldn’t go to waste. Since the damage to my car amounted only to a crack in the grill and tufts of fur, I could drive home. The police officer’s kindness, as I now reflect, was exactly what I needed in that moment and I thanked him for his help and we said good-bye. I got into my car to drive home and call my brother.

I began processing the experience on the drive home. I thanked the universe for showing me a deep lesson. It seemed hitting the deer held a deeper meaning. Symbolically I had “hit love” today, and I was remembering times I had "hit love" in the past. This was all flooding in with a gulf of tears as I was driving.

I called my brother and went into his voice mail, so I called brother #2 who agreed to help me with the buck. I planned to drive back to the buck in my van so we would have more space to haul the deer. As I scraped the ice and snow off of my van, I burst into tears again. “Am I really crying over this deer?” I thought to myself.

Yes, and so much more was the answer I received. I felt a flood of feelings in my heart as a torrent of memories swept into my thoughts. I considered the times I had hurt my girls or husband with my words or actions. I considered my brothers and my father and was able was able to connect the issues I had with them to the issues I had experienced with other men in my life. Then, just as hurtful, I recalled the times I had treated myself with absolute hatred and disgust. I began to see how I needed to bring more gentleness and kindness into my life. I thanked the deer for having sacrificed his life to bring me these life-changing insights. But the insights went even deeper than that.

To finish up ‘the event’ my brother came to meet me where the buck lay. The first thing he said was, “That’s a nice one!” (I come from a family of men who are avid hunters.) To that I broke out into more tears and he hugged me and apologized. My brother put the deer into the back of my van, and we took it to a place where he could field dress it. I was grateful that my brother knew what to do and how to do it. As I watched him, I thanked the deer’s spirit for the nourishment it would provide many people.

After my brother finished, he put the carcass in his trunk to take it to a processor. I thanked him for being there for me and off he went. I still had some time, and it seemed appropriate, so I decided to go on my morning walk, even a short one, to reflect. I sat near the river for a short time and listened to the water moving. I cried some more, but this time I reveled at the beauty of the healing energy I had received and how it had stepped up in a gentle, kind and loving way. When I went a little deeper I touched on my relationship with the divine Masculine.

This experience brought up something from my past that had been holding me back. At the same time it showed me how perfect things could be. It was demonstrated right in front of me - my hitting the buck - memories of my relationships churning into my awareness, particularly relationships with the important men in my life. The strong feelings kept surfacing as the morning’s events unfolded and I processed what was happening. The takeaway and most valued gift from the button buck was that my new awareness activated my heart and opened it to the beauty of the divine masculine.

As I was finishing up my walk my first brother called me to apologize for missing my call. I told him everything had been handled. He could tell by my “weepy” tone that I was still feeling pretty raw, and asked if I was ok. He was unexpectedly kind, compassionate and understanding. It dawned on me that I had broken through a few barriers with two of my three brothers that day. I felt empowered, and expected great things to come from future encounters with the other important men (and women) in my life.

Life is multidimensional, ever shifting and changing. Nothing is ever the same, Ever! The button buck gifted me with one more insight. Here it is.

It is time for us to give each other grace in all things. May we all see with new eyes what is possible and send a pray up to the celestials for the continued heart-opening that is occurring for us all. As for me, I Choose LOVE!

Shelly Valinttine is a Life Coach / Hypnotherapist who guides people to transform through releasing negative beliefs, thoughts and patterns. All real change takes place at the unconscious level.

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