Shedding Old Skin

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.

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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.

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5 Responses to Shedding Old Skin

  1. Tess Wynn says:

    What was..was..yes. Thanks for this deeply meaningful post Mary Ann..we learn and move forward so we can control what will be..hopefully!

  2. marita falconer says:


  3. hissking says:

    Yep, sometimes its just what happens. And for some reason, when we’re in it, and its happening, it takes for ever to realize it. Only when I stepped away, could I see the convolution of how I was living. Shedding that skin has been the best thing I have ever done. You too. The crows are happy with snake. I can really relate to this post. Well done, all the way around.

  4. sagemtnmom says:

    Reblogged this on Trail Mix and commented:
    An insight packed blog post from fellow Creative Group writer Mary Ann Monteverde Hines.

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