I believe that every animal, tree, stone, flower….every part of nature can be a messenger for us. When we choose to follow nature’s ways and listen with our inner being we begin to see that all of life’s creations are divine expressions of wisdom and grace. When I was visiting Remington a couple weeks ago, sitting tranquilly in my chair in the pasture and watching the horses grazing, I looked over and about 5 feet away was a very large, mature snake. She was slowly making her way into the center of the pasture.
A bit startled, I first looked for rattles at the end of her tail since she had the same coloring as a rattler, but no, she was a beautiful garden snake. Some people are pretty creeped-out with snakes; I am not one of those people. (Especially when I know that the snake is nonpoisonous!) I immediately got up with my dressage whip in my hand. (This is a tool I use to help train the horses from the ground….never do I use it as a whip, but as an extension of my arm to help create space or show direction). I gently started nudging her with the soft end of the whip, asking her to leave the pasture. I didn’t want her to get stomped on by one of the boys and I certainly didn’t want the boys to go exploring after her…..the last thing they need to learn is that it’s okay to go up and say hello to a snake.
Of course, my antics got the attention of curious William who came right over to investigate. The snake moved away from him, startling him, which then brought both Remington and Luke over to protect their youngest herd member. They stood beside him, one on each side until they too saw the snake and wanted to investigate. All three boys were very curious. “What IS that?!” There I am, pushing the boys back with my body language, telling them NOT to say hello to snakes in the pasture…..all the while encouraging the snake to move towards the fence where I knew there was a hole that I might be able to coax her in. And she is telling me “I don’t want to go over there, I want to go the other direction; stop doing that!”
Finally after a few minutes of keeping the horses at bay, nudging the snake, communicating with everybody about the importance of keeping distance for safety’s sake, I was able to convince her to go into the hole at the edge of the fence. (I’m sure I must have looked like a comic book character…the entire scene was quite a giggle). Once I knew she was tucked away, I went looking for Jorge, who works at the farm and asked about rattlesnakes. He reassured me that they rarely see them, so I went back to check on the boys and the snake. She was poking her little head out of the hole saying “This is not my hole you know. I don’t live here. I want to come out”. By now the boys had wandered off to the other end of the pasture, so I told her to make it quick…well as quick as a snake can make it….and go back to her home, out of the pasture. She hesitated, so I left and hoped that she heeded my advice.
Snake medicine is powerful ju-ju. Because they shed their skin each year, virtually becoming a new being, they represent an important transformation in one’s life. And since this snake had been so obvious in the way she showed up for me, I took her medicine seriously. Indeed, I am going through a very important shift in my life…..on all levels. It was not surprising to have snake appear to me, confirming that transitions are healthy, important and life affirming. I thanked her for her message and once again gave gratitude for how blessed I am to feel so closely connected to nature and all her beautiful creations.