Today, I watched as my dad stamped up the driveway to chase a small herd of deer out of the yard.
I must admit, first, that I giggled through it… But COME ON–who wouldn’t, upon witnessing my dad’s suddenly uproarious behavior?
But besides the angry Indian man shouting and stomping at a quartet of bewildered forest fauna, I simultaneously saw, in my mind’s eye: for one–the sweaty, back-breaking labor my parents and I put into our anticipated garden–and for another–the many hours I spent one summer, bottle-feeding vivacious, growing fawns at a rehabilitation center for young and orphaned wildlife.
I could just smell the wet, upturned earth, its musty fragrance clawing up my nostrils, teasing of magnificent and flamboyant (yet defenseless) blooms to come; and, at the same time, I felt tingling goosebumps, recalling the enchanting sensation of velvet ears beneath my fingertips, and tiny, ambitious muzzles rooting around nosily at the pockets of my pants in blundered search of an extra source of milk.
At that moment, I saw a glimpse of the life that lies ahead of me as the zoo and wildlife veterinarian I mean to become. I saw a constant tug-of-war between two, very separate, but irreversibly entangled contexts–two worlds in each of which I stand firmly with one foot.
This conversation between two very dominant forces on this planet will be the immovable framework upon which I will have to build my career, my goals, and my accomplishments. And it was in that moment–of watching my dad and the deer in the rain today–that a determination was rekindled anew in me to confront and embrace this formidable beast of an epic challenge.
This will be my life. And I will love it.