Perspective: A Silent Witness To Nature

Mar 2, 2021

It was 3 a.m. Since I couldn't fall asleep again, I got up to check whether it was snowing. Thick flakes were drifting from the sky and a deep blanket of white had covered our front yard. As I was admiring the smooth surface of snow unmarked by tire tracks or footprints, our neighborhood fox walked by.

He stopped, listened and entered the yard across the street. A few quick hops, some digging, and he had captured his prey. As he proceeded to consume his midnight snack, I thought of how privileged I was to be the silent witness of this moment when one animal gives up its life to sustain another. The fox was unaware that I was observing him from my living room window, and for several minutes it was just the fox, the snow and me.

The headlights of a police car interrupted the fox's meal, and he scurried off to safety. I waited to see if he would come back to finish. He did not, and eventually I returned to bed and fell asleep.

A few hours later, when I awoke to begin my day, the recollections of the fox had crystalized into a snow globe of memory. Like a treasured object, I carried that moment around with me all day. I have it still, and it remains precious.

I'm Frances Jaeger, and that is my perspective.