Sitting quietly at the table in the silent stone house, focusing on the laptop screen, a movement at the nearby open door caught my eye. I instantly thought ‘cat’ (because there are still a few feline residents in the village) then, just as quickly, that thought changed to ‘dog’ and then – unbelievably – the thought became ‘fox!’
The fox – shiny, healthy, and quietly confident – looked straight at me with his/her bright, shiny, inquisitive eyes, head slightly cocked. Our eyes locked. There was no trace of fear or alarm from the fox, and I, therefore, felt completely calm in her presence and awed to be so honoured. We looked at each other for a while and then she chose to leave.
I had seen her prior to this, trotting confidently through the village early one morning, so I knew there was a fox about. I’d seen many foxes here in the mountains over the years, fox cubs too, but normally they disappeared in alarm as soon as they caught sight of me.
Last evening I visited friends for supper. With their front door open to the balmy star-studded mountainside quietness, three of us were looking through photographs of previous village encounters and shared suppers whilst delicious vegetarian food smells emanated from the kitchen. To our profound amazement, the fox appeared in the doorway, then calmly entered the house and walked leisurely past us towards the fire flickering in the grate. I think we all had the impression that she might curl up there and make herself at home, right next to us, but she turned around and slowly sauntered back the way she had come. We had called the two chefs from the kitchen when she’d made her entrance and all five of us were simply amazed at this very close encounter. And then she didn’t disappear – she stayed near the door, peering in at us. We felt blessed. I wondered where she had had the good encounters with humans that made her so trusting. May she always be treated with the respect and kindness that she deserves.
When you are steadfast in your abstention from thoughts of harm directed toward yourself and others, all living creatures will cease to feel fear in your presence.
The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali