Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » “I don’t see a dea, daddy”


For the first time ever, I took my youngest son to the place you look out but call “blind.”

It was overcast, yucky, and 3:00 when we got to the stand. It was perfect for seeing deer hunting. There we were in the 3 foot by 3 foot apartment with small windows. There he was in my lap. I think he misunderstood the concept of hunting. Sitting in the blind and waiting patiently for a deer to walk out was the farthest thing from his mind. I think he thought he could chatter the deer to come out. He reminded me every 30 seconds or so that there were no deer out there and by doing so reminded the deer in the brush that it was still unsafe to walk out.

Ahh, I know, give him a snack. It was a rice crispy treat. It lasted all but two minutes. But those were some good hunting two minutes. I didn’t see a thing, and better than that, I didn’t hear a thing either. That meant there was quiet. Seeing a huge deer, future pork chops, a bearded turkey, or maybe some other creature walk out is always a heart thumping surprise. But perhaps the best thing about hunting for me is the return to nature, the quiet, the solitude, the retreat. It takes some getting used to that is for sure. I didn’t get to the point of pure enjoyment of the quiet for my mind was racing with the hustle and bustle that I left behind. To accept the stillness, you kinda need to practice it.

I remember visiting a monastery in the desert of New Mexico. One of the monks took time away from his more or less co-sustaining livelihood and told us some stories and basics of life in the monastery. Monks travel occasionally for classes, meetings, etc. and sometimes it requires them to go into the city. The monk recalled that when he travels to the city, he begins to get a headache. He says that the city is so noisy and loud that too much bombards his senses.

It is times like deer hunting that the stillness and quietude of life remind me how busy my life has become. It reminds me that much of what I think or make important is really not that big after all. It reminds me how often I replace the really important things with temporary things that will be gone in a season. I should remember to follow the advice of a very close friend of mine, “Be still.”