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Suzan Berns: Looking Through the Glass

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A move to a new home brings new beginnings, and also some hard goodbyes. Suzan Berns reflects on those changes.

My dear deer. I will miss you when I move.

As I sit at my desk, you’re on the other side of the window, standing on your hind legs to reach the top leaves in the bushes in my small, but secluded, backyard. You and your friends have already stripped the lower branches. You just looked up, seeing me seeing you. When I say a hello through the glass that separates us, you step closer, meeting my eyes; your ears are attuned to my voice.

You ate my hydrangeas, so I don’t buy them anymore. Or roses. And you chomped the top off my succulents. Even so, I delight in your presence.

In the 12 years at this desk, I’ve seen multiple moms with their fawns hanging out. Young stags with velvet covering their new antlers have playfully jostled each other. An older stag arrived with a leg wound, leaving blood on the ground where he lay. When he came back the next day, it was healing, to my relief.


When the apples and pears fall from the trees each summer, you visit often, leaving half-eaten apples around the yard. You don’t touch the pears – apparently not to your liking.

One day a small fox walked along the fence and settled for a snooze in the sun. There aren’t deer or foxes where I’m moving – not enough open space. But there are lots of raccoons. I’ve lived in the house before, so I know how cute they are, especially with their babies. And I know how they intrude in my living space. One day, I found two eating from my cats’ bowls in the kitchen. The raccoons came in through the cat door. Henry and Snookums, my cats – clearly pacifists – were sitting on the counter watching.

Now coyotes have invaded the neighborhood. If I add a cat to my new household, she will have to be happy inside.

Perhaps I’ll invest in a cat jungle gym with an observation platform. Then New Kitty can enjoy the wildlife through the glass, just as I have loved doing these last dozen years.

With a Perspective, I’m Suzan Berns.

Suzan Berns is a mostly-retired writer and public relations professional and animal lover. She lives in San Rafael.

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