So many people spend so much of their time hating snakes without ever giving them the chance to explain themselves. We all need snakes. Nobody wants to admit that but its true. You think about it. Every day I use snakes. I abuse them. I run them over from tail to tongue and when it forks, I pick a new snake and start all over again. I even read them for important messages. I watch them for warnings. They show me diamondbacks for danger. They show me yellow bellies for friendship. I just want to remove your pests. I just want to fill your veins with venom.
These snakes are important to my every day existence.
These snakes are deserving of some kindness.
These snakes are made of asphalt.
The diamonds on their backs are road signs. The yellow on their bellies tells me not to pass the car in front of me doing 13.5 in a 50. With their signal on. No turn offs for miles ahead or behind us…but they’re signaling just in case an adventure presents itself and we need to slow down and take that right. Forked tongues are forked lanes, pests are removed by the solitude of my vehicle, venom replaces it as something they call “road rage” which is really the vilest form of arrogance. Nowhere you’re heading can be as important as everywhere I’m heading. If I had taken time for you to take your time I would’ve seen that sunset, that mother deer and her fawn, that family of geese hiding from the thunder storm. If I had taken time for you to take your time I would’ve seen…you.
So many people spend so much of their time hating snakes without ever giving them the chance to explain themselves. When we should thank them. We should follow them. They know where all the sunny spots are. The best swimming holes. Don’t let fear stop you anymore. Use caution. Caution is smart. Fear is stupid. Caution is not diving head first into the murky water…fear is not venturing far enough off the beaten path to see the pond. So this summer, let’s follow this slithering asphalt into the wild unknown. Or into the relatively known with fresh eyes. Go a different way to work or grandma’s or vacation. Slow down for that Mercury doing 13.5 and that sunset and those geese. Stop for a picnic or a photo or a nap. And then, once you’ve had your fill of the moment for the moment…grab another snake by the tail and ride it out to its forked tongue. Then flip a coin and keep going. And if you see a snake this summer…be sure to thank him. And tell him Maggie said hi.