On Saturday, when we came back from dropping the dogs off at grooming, I noticed what I thought was biggest earth worm I had ever seen. When I looked a little closer, I saw that it was a ribbon snake. We have dozens of them living in our stone walls. They are usually very shy so I could tell right away that this one was dead. At another time in my life I would have been terrified and disgusted by a snake. I’m a city girl and snakes scared the crap out of me. But something in me has changed. I couldn’t leave it where it could be run over. I reached down picked it up and laid it on top of the stone wall. I looked at it closely and saw how beautiful it was; so graceful and delicate. It’s black scales shone like paten leather. I turned it over to see it’s lovely yellow belly. I felt a pang of sorrow that it was dead. In my head, I said a little prayer of thanksgiving that such a creature existed and I blessed it. Then I left it on the wall where a crow or raccoon would most likely find it.
Today would have been the 32nd anniversary of my first marriage; a painful, difficult union that ended with the death of my husband. I lived for years with abuse – physical, emotional, psychological. For a long time I wondered why me; what was wrong with him, what was wrong with me. Now I can just look at it and see it was just what happened. I am no longer angry at him, I forgave him years ago to save myself. But this year was different. I’ve let it go. I no longer dissect it, or look for reasons why. I can examine it without fear or disgust. It just was. And so I can bless it as part of who I am and leave it on the wall for the crows.