You can read Part 1 here.
I continued the hike up and my conversation with… Mother Earth hahah (yes, still laughing). There was no shade and I had taken off my tank top at some point. I’ve always had a policy that I enforce more as I get older – Wear as little as possible given the circumstances.
With the sun beating down my body and sweat starting to make my shades slide down, I saw a snake crossing the trail about 10-15 feet ahead of me, sort of like this (thanks Google):
The moment I saw it, I caught my breath. It looked like a young rattlesnake – I could see the rattle at the end and it looked kind of short. Maybe it was because it looked young that I didn’t really feel fear. I slowly approached it and stood about 5-8 feet away from it. It minded its own business and continued to move across the dirt toward the right side of the trail.
I was seriously mesmerized by its movements. It has no freaking limbs and yet it moves. It gets from point A to point B with such ease and, might I say, grace.
I continued to watch it climb up the side of the trail and disappear in the bushes. The being that captivated me for those 20 seconds was nowhere to be seen. I couldn’t even tell that moment had actually happened except for the track left behind in the dirt.
I had no desire to take a photo – it was incongruent with the fullness of the moment, like trying to encapsulate the Aurora Borealis in a Tweet (not that I’ve ever tried or that I’ve ever seen the Aurora Borealis hahah).
But to bust out my phone and document that moment felt extremely trite. It felt like that was an experience meant just for me, courtesy of Mother Earth. I received it as such and continued down my path with a sense of gratitude and wonder.
I turned over the incident in my mind, thinking about how our paths had crossed exactly in that moment. The funny thing is, that snake doesn’t give a shit nor is it even aware. It was just doing its thing, making its way to the other side, maybe to meet a friend or catch an early lunch.
And here’s this human so AMAZED by this “encounter”. Lol. Humans.
Anyway, this whole experience left an impression on me because, although I had always appreciated nature, I don’t think I ever truly connected with it on a deeply personal level. Even that one time my friend and I were camping out in Sequoia getting blown and sitting by the river pales in comparison to this moment.
That, and all the times I’ve looked in awe at nature, was a beholding from afar. It’s an appreciation and acknowledgement of something glorious, something I didn’t partake it.
But this moment on a random Friday afternoon with the oblivious snake felt like a response or message from Mother Earth to me. (Hahaha I PROMISE I was COMPLETELY sober for the duration of the hike haha. I just have to say.)
I don’t know. I just really enjoyed it. I felt there was a purpose to it, maybe something only my soul knows. But I received it.
And when I got back I Googled what snakes represent because why not lol.
In short, they stand for healing, transformation, and sensory abilities (using senses to be aware). And the rattlesnake specifically symbolized boundaries (rattle warns intruders) and danger (“if you don’t stay away, I will F you up”). Sounds scary lol.
The symbolism of a snake (not necessarily the rattlesnake) spoke to me. I feel like the past several years have been defined by healing in the sense that I can access and act on the truth of my whole self. And this whole freaking year has been about transformation and integrating the idea that I’m able to sense more than just with my 5 senses. That I’m not just physical being with a soul but rather, a soul with a body.
That’s basically what I got out of it. Pretty cool.
Maybe I’ll stop here, maybe I’ll add one more about this solo hike. We’ll see!
Hope you enjoyed as much as I enjoyed sharing.