4 Dec 2009

Deer in the Headlights

Posted by Teapots Happen

I’m writing from a motel in Stinson Beach, where I’m enjoying the Northern California coast with my girlfriend Becky.

Driving back from the Point Reyes National Seashore this evening, we were both sick of being in the car, and this had us bickering, taking the beautiful setting for granted.

Sitting in the passenger seat, I looked out the windshield and I suddenly felt like there might be deer in the road … which made sense, since it was early dusk, and the woods we were driving through looked likely to harbor deer.

“Look out for animals in the road,” I said quickly. “Deer are out a lot at this time of day.”

Becky let the car’s speed fall, and conversation fell into a lull.

Musing, I suddenly remembered something that had happened fifteen years or so earlier.

“Have I ever told you about the weird coincidence that happened with deer in the road when I was young?”

Becky had no idea what I was talking about, so I explained:

“Well, I remembered it a couple months ago, and wanted to add it to my synchronicity blog, but I forgot about it again until just now.

I was maybe eighteen or so, driving home along the edge of Murphy Hanrehan Park at dawn, struggling to stay awake, when I was hit with a strong sense that there were deer in the road ahead.

Not just that there might be deer – that there WERE deer. It made no rational sense.

But I was so certain of it, anyway, that I cut my speed down … and then struggled with my impulse to honk the horn, in an effort to scare away any deer ahead. Of course, as a hardcore rationalist I felt like it would be superstitious and irrational to honk – some kind of weakness, in opposition to my beliefs.

And it was then, driving well below the speed limit, hand on the horn, that I rounded a curve – and hit the brakes. Three deer were crossing the road in my headlights.”

Becky, smiling, let a little more speed fall off as we rounded another curve on Limatour Road.

I went on;

“Not really much of a ‘synchronicity,’ of course – since I knew there were deer in those woods, and it was dawn, when they’re moving a lot. So of course I wound up writing it off as a meaningless coincidence, and not even a very strange coincidence at that.

But still, it felt weird – that I didn’t just slow down, but even felt compelled to honk the horn … ,

And that’s when Becky and I rounded another curve, suddenly slowed down even more, and both burst into laughter … because a deer was strolling across the road ahead in our headlights’ glow.

(And the layered ‘deer in the headlights’ co-incidence was just what we needed … it brought our attention back to the positive and beautiful, and put a pleasant stop to our pointless stressing.)


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6 Responses to “Deer in the Headlights”

  1. Good one, Gabe!!


    Trish MacGregor

  2. back in “01” while bailing on my life, had a chance to stop by the “Grand Canyon”, was in Flagstaff the evening of a full moon, “looking for a little hemp” 2 dozen college bars in a 4 block area, still failed to find. At closing time got in the rental car and took a ride up towards the canyon, on the highway come a cross about 200 “I don’t know guess must of been elk or ????” but keep seeing 4 here 6 there 3-4 over there all crossing the road east to west, just keep spinning the rental car around shining the lights wherever I could see them. (non getting spooked) Was in the canyon after 2:00 a.m. and out the other way before 8:00, sun came up about 4:30, wish i could make it back and spend some time


    simple simon

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  4. lol … another coincidence. I don’t usually allow “Spam” comments through … but the TIM Taxi post above seems to have been left by the owners of the ‘Redwoods Haus’ – the very Stinson Beach motel I wrote this post from!

    (I think the owner’s husband runs the taxi company?)

    It’s a great place to stay, they’ve been running the place there since the 60’s, and the patina of character that has built up over time can’t be faked. Charming, quirky, and affordable (at least in the winter off-season) – we both regretted not being able to stay another night (we already had hostel reservations down the coast).

    So I’ll let their blog spam stay. 🙂


    teapots happen

  5. what a deer story!


    jane aka faerian

  6. […] next week Becky and I went to California, where I would see the Panda coffee mug and have a coincidence with deer in the road. While there, we stayed two nights at my cousin Kristina’s house, hanging out with her, her […]


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