Two Snakes


I live in a beautiful place: Boulder, Colorado. Kim and I try to get out and hike every Sunday; we live near the edge of the open space that leads into the Flatirons and there are trails everywhere.

As we were walking today, a small snake crossed our path and slithered off into the tall grass. About fifty feet later, another snake, almost identical to the first, did the same thing.

Now, one thing you have to know about me is that I have spent a lot of time outdoors in my lifetime. Growing up in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, I practically grew up in the woods. Then, in my adult life, thirty plus years have been spent in the West, mostly in New Mexico, but now in Colorado. Through all of my years outside, I hardly EVER see snakes. Maybe a half dozen in my entire life. And today, TWO cross my path.

Not being one to treat good omen dismissively, I wondered about what these fortuitous encounters might mean.

I immediately hearkened back to my days working at Packard’s in Santa Fe, NM. Part of my job there was selling Native American crafts, including hand-carved Zuni fetishes.

To those of you unfamiliar with fetishes (no, not those…), they are hand-carved “totems,” usually of animals that can represent different aspects of “medicine” as it applies to emotion and personality. Bears could represent strength, foxes cunning, owls wisdom. Often when customers would ask me what a certain one represented, I would turn it back on them, “Well, what does it mean to YOU? You picked that one up…” I don’t adhere to the idea that there are universal symbols; it’s all open to individual interpretation.

So, two snakes. I don’t think the fact that there were two was significant, outside of bringing that snake “medicine” to my attention. And to me, snake medicine means change.

Snakes shed their skin. And leave it behind.

So I had to ask myself, “What is it I should be leaving behind? What do I want to change?”

And it’s funny; when you start asking those kind of questions, you just never know what kind of answers you’re gonna get.

And a voice in my head piped up with, “Stop being lazy.”

Wait, what??!! Alright, no one has EVER accused me of being Type A, and I have even characterized myself as “not highly driven,” but “lazy?”

It’s true; many, many years ago, Ma did say, “You’re a lazy good-for-nothing, just like your father, but c’mon, that was just her motivational style. And yes, I am a child of the 60’s and I “live for today” and promised I would never wear a tie to work (nope, still haven’t) and I have been characterized (or is it “accused?”) of being “laid back.” But lazy?

The voice was insistent, “Dude; two snakes; you can’t just write that off as coincidence.”

Is there more I could be doing?

Well, sure…

Unfinished business?

No doubt.

More productive ways to use my time?

Alright…

Months ago, I had told myself I would be blogging every week. And I haven’t done it. So, now, here it is; my first in an ongoing series of stuff-that-goes-through-my-head.

Brought to you by two reptilian reminders of how things should be.

I love where I live.

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© 2014 by Roman Ramsey.