SNAKES, BEASTS, AND EDISON

I moved to Samish Island—once a true island now you drive on. Many people visit Edison a wonderfully charming little town in the gorgeous Skagit Valley founded in the late 1800’s, Edison has a funky arty vibe. But few come to Samish Island unless you live here or a friend does. There is no commerce at all on the Island, but scenery abounds as well as heron, eagles, and all kinds of small birds whose names I do not know. Deer, and perhaps other small beasts—I hope so—but haven’t seen any yet save once when I spied a young deer nibbling something in the garden bed. S/he left a large brown blob as a calling card!

S/he may be ruminating on the all the leaves of my strawberry plants just consumed.

Sitting quietly on my $10 purchased-at-a-garage-sale wicker chair on my porch is the best. Usually a bevy at hand and a book on my lap. Early morning—birds sing and the two mile loop walk beckons. Early evening birds sing, breezes whisper, the Samish Sea and Padilla Bay shimmy and shake as the glorious sun sets.

But I wanted to write about snakes or serpents. Yep. I bought a marvelous linen table cloth and as I examined it carefully saw that the brilliant artiste Nathalie Lete who designed it used winding snakes to slink around the cloth’s border. I’ve never been a big fan of snakes, but I resolved to love these creatures because I adore the tablecloth.

I’ve wondered why my immediate impulse is to turn and run when I encounter a snake. I don’t think my response is really fear, I think it’s two fold: the suddenness of a snake’s appearance in my path and the psychological message we’ve been given that snakes are bad. I think that stems from Genesis. Eve or Hava, is bad—she disobeyed the rules—she took a bite from the apple. And both Eve and the serpent are punished.

I’ve thought a lot about this lately and I think Eve was curious and intelligent. She wanted to have knowledge. Good for her! I’ve never been very good about following rules either. All this is to let you know that when I was gardening a few weeks ago a little green snake came sliding by quite near me. I stopped, stayed still and watched. S/he moved along smoothly and silently. Where to, I don’t know. Out of sight.

So now I know to watch out for this visitor. To watch where I shovel and hoe. To be alert for another visit. I’m also told that her/his visit was an auspicious moment. That it was a “howdy to you, new girl” from my small, silent neighbor.

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