Sunday, May 16, 2010

Superstition or Communication?

Some people believe that seeing an animal is natures way of sending you a message. It's an ancient idea really...and of course isn't limited to animals alone. It's about finding meaning in life and communicating with the undercurrent that presents itself to you.

I suppose that is where superstition might come in; don't let a black cat cross your path, ravens are a sign of know, Friday the 13th folklore.

But, taken from a more earthy, native perspective, it's not seen like that. It's communication. A message given from the minerals, plants, animals, earth, and sky. It's about listening. With your inner being. the whispers.

I live on a cul-de-sac in the mountains of Montana. It's a neighborhood full of families, some I know fairly well, some of whom I know only by face...and others who I don't know at all. American modern life dictates that we often do not know our neighbors. We're all too independent to weave our lives together in community. (Or is it something else???) In any case...there are kids, cats, dogs, cars, lawns, gardens...normal semi suburbia living. But, if I walk half a block, I can dissipate into a mini wilderness that is recovering from the harsh pruning that happened earlier in the year, and I can pretend that I live in isolation from the world, which is something I've often wished for in the past year. In that isolation from people, lawnmowers, engines, music, and whatever other hullabaloo is common on a cul-de-sac, I encounter deer of all ages, foxes, hummingbirds, butterflies....and an abundance of flowers.

Sometimes I'll get the treat of seeing a bald eagle, red tail hawk, or even great blue heron soaring overhead. In those moments, I wish I could fly with them...

Today though, in my yard that is surrounded by the protective barrier of 6 foot tall bamboo poles, I was walking around the fruit trees inspecting the blossoms. In all honesty, I admit that I was whispering to these trees; last year, in the wake of losing Simon and Alexander, our entire yard went on a fruit strike. Not a single tree gave us fruit last year. Not only were the fruit trees on sabbatical, but the Raspberries were fruitless, the grapes didn't grape...and the strawberries....weren't. Not only was my womb barren, but my entire yard was barren as well. It was....abnormal. So, this year, when I saw all the blossoms, I went out to talk to my trees; to encourage them.

On one hand, I know that it's a little silly to think that my trees needed a pep-talk. But, because I know I've talked to these trees on a regular basis ever since I planted them 6 years ago, I am ALSO aware that last year...drowning in grief and devastation...I did NOT spend time talking to them, and they did NOT give me fruit. Maybe they were in mourning too. Maybe the entire vibe at my home was one of pulling in, and away. Maybe my fruit trees knew it wasn't time to put forth a bunch of fruit that I wouldn't have the focus to eat, or freeze for later. Maybe...they knew.

Maybe it was simply that it was a non-fruiting year for ALL of the trees in my yard alone. (my neighbors had fruit.)

In any case...I'm rambling...but, the point is, that I was communing with the energy of my trees, feeling very peaceful, quiet, and focused. Suddenly, as I stepped toward the plum tree that we planted last summer for Simon and Alexander, I saw that it had survived. Little green leaves were opening up. I caught my breath, and smiled. A warm feeling spread all over me and love poured forth onto that little tree. I closed my eyes for a moment, and when I opened them again, I noticed the grass was fluttering near my feet. A slender striped snaked was gliding near me. I didn't move. I didn't feel afraid. It slid right past my feet so close I could have bent over and picked it up.

I watched it.

It was beautiful.

I've NEVER seen a snake in my yard. ever.

I thought about messages being given by creation in it's many forms.

I pondered over the message of snakes... Snakes symbolize renewal, rebirth, and expanded development because they shed their skin during each growth cycle. Snakes are also cold-blooded which means they depend on their environment for their body temperature. This is seen as a symbolic message that we must be adaptive, flexible and adjust as best we can to our circumstances.

So...I confess that this is a message I need reminding of whether it's superstition or not. I have cycled through a year of grieving. A year of pain must be shed, for I am now, most certainly, a new person. I have been through too much to be able to fit in my old "skin". Admittedly, it is simply that my old skin no longer fits that often causes the tears to erupt. I LIKED my skin...I LIKED me. I didn't WANT to be forced into a new "skin".

And I am. Changed. In need of acceptance...renewal. My environment must be altered to fit my new persona. Thus, the 6 foot tall privacy fence...the freelance writing from home...a slower pace. A "me" pace.

It seems as likely as anything else that spirit would send me this message in the form of a graceful little garden snake that was hanging out near my babies memorial plum tree. It seems as probable as any other story...any other myth....any other version of truth.

So...I think I'll listen.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely way to interpret that sign, Sara. It's true, this new skin we've been forced into is uncomfortable. (((Hugs)))


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