Yesterday I walked up your road noticing your sweet fall wild aster, brown dying ferns, gravel stones beneath these feet.
You showed yourself as a snake lying in the dirt. Perhaps hit by a fast-moving truck. Your head looked muddy, but your wee garter-snake tongue forked out.
I felt fear. So scared of this snake, of its slither energy. A primal deep-in-the-belly incomprehensible fear. A fear passed on from generation to generation, a reptilian fear of…what?
An inner voice suggested, “Pick it up and take it off the road so it doesn’t get hit.”
But I couldn’t touch it. I just couldn’t. My Self wanted to do it–but the fear loomed too large, too luminous.
Please don’t make me touch it. Please. I simply Can’t.
I walked forward, leaving the snake on the road to be perhaps struck and killed by the next fast-moving truck. Step, step, step…
I am slowly, so slowly, learning to love the fear as much as the sweet fall wild aster, brown dying ferns, gravel stones beneath feet.
So I breathed and imaged a nest around this inner fear. Softened the heart around the primal reptilian fear. Felt the abysmal ache in the caverns of belly. Let the scaredy-cat be. Saw the fear as holy, holy, holy. Lord God almighty, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Saw the fear as not just mine–but a wound belonging to all of us.
Fear, stay as long as you want.
Fear, show your little palpitating heart any time. We’re old friends, you and I, ancient friends, aren’t we? And I have pushed you away too many times to count.
Then the feet turned around toward the snake. I couldn’t touch it, but I found a rock and nudged it toward the ditch. At first it wouldn’t move. Then it slithered, just a little. I inched it forward with the rock. It slithered more.
C’mon little fella. I’m scared, you’re scared, but there’s something larger than our fear. Off the road, dear one. Off the road into the tall grasses where you will live or die but a love beyond both of us prevails, doesn’t it?
Off he slithered. My scared-beating heart and I continued our walk.
Breathe, breathe, breathe.
Thank you Holy for sharing the way.
Then–how strange–I’ve barely seen a snake all this summer–here is a second one, a small dead red copper bellied snake lying in the road.
I walk on by, musing at the oddness, when an inner knowing prompts, “You can pick this one up.”
I turn back to this dear precious red bellied six inch snake and cautiously reach out and touch its belly. It is still warm. It feels soft and beautiful, not scary at all.
You can do it. You can pick it up and move it off the road.
And I do.
Thank you for the snake lessons today, all of them.