How I almost got eaten by a 10 inch snake
A few months ago I was asked to lead a private healing retreat in Oregon. We stayed at an old farm house at the base of a hill overlooking a beautiful valley that’s famous for its rainbows and sunsets. We did NOT wake up with the roosters (I take my sleep seriously) but we did make our way up the big hill twice a day to meditate and perform other healing work.
Basically this retreat was focused around deep emotional and spiritual healing. The food, the yoga, the socializing all took a second row. Our intention was to go deep inside ourselves to discover and heal as much as we could within a very short time. I don’t often agree to lead things like this because very few people can handle such intensity. These guys could and in fact, they welcomed it.
On the last morning of the retreat we walked up the hill as usual and spent three hours in meditation and energy work. It was a beautiful and powerful healing session with lots of animal spirit medicine. We had just opened our eyes and were slowly coming back into this 3-D reality when one of the guys poked me on my side and said: look to your left.
Once my eyes adjusted to the light, about six feet to my left I saw a pair of shiny eyes attached to a long green neck. The neck never seemed to end, leading me to conclude that the neck was attached to a snake. The snake was bright green, about the width of my pinky finger. It was slightly taller than a large blade of grass and it gently swayed in the wind.
“How cute,” was my initial thought. My second though was “it’s a snake,” my third thought was “that snake is going to eat me.” My fourth thought was more of a question: “what should I do?” Having run through all the available options in my head, I decided that the best and most logical course of action would be to scream. Loudly.
Now, all of this happened within a split second. Also, within that same split second the guy standing next to me realized what was about to happen aka someone was going to scream. He grabbed my shoulder and firmly told me “Do not scream.” Having lost the ability to do the most logical thing, I did the second most logical thing. I closed my eyes and hid behind the guy. I figured that if I can’t see the snake then obviously the snake can’t see me. And even if it can, it can eat the other dude first.
30 seconds passed. I half opened my right eye to see if the snake was there. It was. So I closed my eyes again. After a while, the guys decided that we are probably near that snake’s home and it’s waiting for us to leave. We… well they packed up, I was busy trying not to get eaten, and started our way back to the house.
While everyone else was talking about the amazing healing animal medicine and spirit messages, I was thinking Tremors. Yes, the movie Tremors. The one where big brown things pop out of the ground and eat people whole. That’s right, the “spiritual healer” of the group, having just led people on a beautiful journey, fully aware of the power of animal spirits and animal messages, was afraid of getting eaten by a 10-inch snake.
As you might have guessed, we made it back to the house safely and no one was eaten.
About a month later, while safely back in California, I decided that it’s time to google to see what kind of snake that was. I figured that there are enough miles between me and that snake and it certainly couldn’t get to me now even after I googled it. It turned out to be a smooth green snake, a non-venomous, docile and curious creature. It grows to a maximum of 20 inches and apparently when handled gently enjoys wrapping itself around a finger where it proceeds to calm down and fall asleep.
So, what’s the lesson of the story? I’m not quite sure. All I know is that no matter how divinely and spiritually guided we become, when that basic fight and flight mechanism hits, all the spirituality can quite easily go to hell and the basic human survival can take over. That trigger can be anything, a snake, a spider, a loud sound, a car cutting us off, a picture in a magazine, a word someone says, someone’s body language, a smell. And that’s OK. We are humans, we try our best to keep things in perspective, yet sometimes our brain will turn a cute creature with big shiny eyes into evil brown tubes with teeth whose sole mission is to eat little girls who meditate. But then, hopefully we will take a breath, look at the situation logically, see it for what it truly is and hopefully laugh about it later.
As for my snake, I am never going outside again.
And you too, can enjoy nature from the safety of your computer. Look below for the photos we took on that hill.
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