6 May 2008
WOMAN SNAKE DEATH = LIFE
Posted by Robin Easton under: Hobnobbin’ with Robin .
Once a six foot Red Belly Black snake (on the Australian Dangerous-to-humans list) came right at me while I squatted to pee. He was fleeing from something else and ran smack into me. Already frightened and worked up, he reared up and lashed out three times in a false strike inches from my face.
It was my first encounter with a deadly snake and if I hadn’t just peed I would have. Amazingly I shocked myself by staying outwardly calm. If I panicked and jumped back he’d surely strike. I was already in a squatting position and couldn’t even tuck and roll fast enough to get away. Even if I could have moved snakes can strike faster than the human eye can follow, and at six feet long they have a lot length to whip out. But I knew that frenetic movement from me would be the worst thing to do, any movement would spell disaster. It would startle and rile the snake even more. If I remained still he might not strike. He might calm down. He had to know that I was no threat to him, that I was no more than a log. When I didn’t move, didn’t even breathe, instinct made him freeze immobile in hopes that I would no longer see him. Camouflage was his best defense against such a huge opponent. We were face to face, inches apart. Time stopped and down in the dark pit of my gut primal knowledge uncoiled from eons of dormancy and rose to consciousness. Like my ancient hunter gatherer ancestors I wanted to test myself. I thought, “Here it is, the single event you’ve feared might happen. He’s so close now, what do you have to lose but your life? And death is already here. So why not try and relax. See if you can communicate with him.”
Everything in me slowed way down and in that space I heard for the first time another specie’s thoughts. I understood that he would not slither away until I looked away. He feared I would follow him or strike out and crush him; he couldn’t afford to take his eyes off me. I had to trust him with my life. Slowly I rolled my eyes away from his space, slooooowly I turned my head inch by inch. In less than two seconds he whipped his body around faster than my eyes could follow and vanished into the bush.
That day many years ago I learned with my entire body that we ARE connected to all life. If we slow down and listen we can hear the thoughts of other species. I learned that every visitation meant something, told me something. Each being was a teacher. And if I listened to my teachers I would be blessed to experience the extreme intelligence of wildlife. To be in that heightened state where we hear another animal’s thoughts is one of my most treasured gifts from the wild. I am changed forever.
Although it can sometimes be hard to hear another’s thoughts. To hear the thoughts of the bush lark while the python swallows her alive, to hear the thoughts of the Ulysses butterfly when he is snapped up in the flycatcher’s beak, to hear the thoughts of the honey bee while the praying mantis eats him alive, to hear their desperate pleas, to hear them cling to sweet Life, to hear them beg me, life, anyone for help…to save them…and then for me to NOT intervene was sometimes hard. But I did not intervene because the honey bee is the life force of the praying mantis. The lark is the life force of the python. The ulysses butterfly is the life force of the fly catcher. Life flows into Life. Imagine a force so in love with itself that it continually devours itself to create more Life.
I would always fight fiercely to stay alive, as do most wild creatures. But with time in the forest I learned that death was not what I once thought. Close to the land, foot and hand dug into dirt, soul sunk into Mother Earth I am embraced by the thing I love most. Although always careful and aware, if I died on the land I would be with that which is most familiar to me. That which IS me. I am part of a massive self-sustaining organism eating itself alive out of sheer lust to create more Life.
From my heart,
PS: I’ve decided that instead of a blog roll or even a links page, that each week I will try to honor a link or a few links. They will not be done in order of any importance. They are all simply done as blogs/people who I respect. I chose these five this week as I felt they related to this post. There are other nature blogs that relate and are equally as good. I will cover them next time, and then more after that. I am blessed to have many wonderful friends and hope to get to each one over the weeks and months. Please bear with me. You have all touched my life.
DEDICATED TO THESE NATURE BLOGS:
A FOCUS ON THE WILD Stacey Huston’s wildlife photos are remarkable and at times almost ethereal. They reflect her inseparable connection to Mother Earth’s vulnerable wild creatures. Stacey also works with falcon rehabilitation. She is a very sensitive and aware human being, just like her wild friends.
EARTH & ECONOMY I respect them for their work in creating environmental awareness. If you are wanting to help protect our planet this site has hundreds of resources for positive change. Earth & Economy is a tireless and astounding effort to protect the planet. You will be amazed at the information available. Please go to this site and make use of the invaluable information they have given us.
HIGH COUNTRY ARCHER This is some of the most beautiful nature writing I’ve read. High Country Archer has a voice that is raw and wild like the land. He is knowledgeable in survival and the ways of our wild brethren. His writing is so fresh that is still smells of the outdoors, of autumn rain, muddy tracks and the scent of passing elk.
ONE MAN’S TRAVEL LOG Graham’s blog is fascinating as it combines a deep and intense love of nature with travel. He is an excellent writer and the site is just bursting with vitality and warmth. It’s also honestly thought provoking in a v rey human and every day kind of way that I really like and relate to.
SANDPIPER’S PLACE Sandpiper’s photos are simply crystal clear and make me feel like I am standing in the woods right next to the wren, the woodchuck and the flowers. Every time I open this blog I catch my breath at the beauty. It is truly stunning. If you love nature you will oooh and aaaah over this site.