5.21.20 ~ garter snake
Fennerswood Preserve, Stonington, Connecticut

Some animals are archetypal symbols of healing. The snake is one such animal. It sheds the old skin and moves into the new. It is a symbol of leaving the old behind for the new. As a symbol of transformation, meditating and focusing on the snake during times of illness will help accelerate the healing process. Animals that appear to us at times of illness, provide clues as to the best way to focus our healing energies.
~ Ted Andrews
(The Intercession of Spirits)

For the second time in a little over a month a garter snake has slithered across the path in front of me and then stopped in the leaves right beside me. The first time the snake kept its head hidden but this second snake lifted its head up and looked at me.

Rod of Asclepius

At first I was excited about the photo opportunity but after I got home I started wondering about the significance snake encounters might hold. In Greek mythology, Asclepius is a deity associated with healing and medicine. The Rod of Asclepius features a snake.

So what meaning did meeting these snakes hold for me? Since November I’ve been struggling to cope with radiation proctitis/colitis, which is incurable, but with the help of a wonderful gastroenterologist I’ve been figuring out how to manage the symptoms. It involves medication and strictly avoiding certain foods. Too many foods!

When I got my official diagnosis in January I highly doubted I would ever be able to take a long walk again. And there are still days when I’ve eaten the wrong thing and cannot leave the house.

My goal is to take a walk in the woods one of these days. And to have supper at the beach with my gull friend this summer.
~ my blog post, 8 January 2020

At first we made tentative little visits to local cemeteries to find the graves of more ancestors. I learned that three of my ancestors lost their lives in the winter of 1711-1712, probably victims of a ‘malignant distemper’ epidemic that swept through Connecticut. I had no idea our own lives would soon be turned upside down by a pandemic just two short months later. But then, on March 21, mostly because of self-quarantine and having nowhere else safe to go, it finally happened. We took a walk in the woods! And we have continued walking!

Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we probably won’t have supper at the beach with my gull friend this summer, which was my second goal. But we’ve decided to make the best of the situation so we put our outdoor dining set out on the balcony and plan to get some flowers from the nursery so we can enjoy eating outside. Who knows? Maybe we will make a new bird friend.

Our lives have definitely been transformed and I’ve experienced more healing than expected. I also started taking bioflavonoids because they are supposed to help with radiation damage, tinnitus, and allergies. It does feel like the chance meetings of two snakes in the woods highlighted us leaving the old behind for the new.

On Monday I fell. I was weeding my garden (a little plot in front of our condo), bending over at the hip. One weed resisted and I pulled harder. It let go and so I fell on my side on top of the stones bordering the garden. Nothing broken but my right shoulder, arm and leg are aching quite a lot. And I have a huge bruise on my hip! But it still felt satisfying getting the garden tidied up for the summer.

10 thoughts on “healing”

  1. I didn’t know that about snakes crossing one’s path. Of course, I would highly prefer the snake to be a garter snake as opposed to something lethal.
    I’m so sorry about your fall! 🙁 I do dread falls so much. I hope that you are feeling much better today, Wednesday the 27th.

    1. Apparently we have 14 kinds of snakes native to Connecticut and only 2 are venomous. I’ve never encountered either of them! I’m starting to dread falls, too. My poor father had many of them and broke so many bones. I hope I won’t be following in his footsteps. A bruise has made an appearance on my arm. The one on my hip is turning all kinds of colors. Still aching but managing with ibuprofen. Thanks for the sympathy! (I fixed the typo for you.) 🙂

  2. So very sorry about your fall, my friend. Are you doing better now? I truly hope so. And feeling with for your other issues as well, and the challenges they present. My lower back/hip went out about three days ago and we’re in the middle of splitting wood, so it’s not good. Have been continuing to work, but very slowly. Argghhhh….the trials of aging…

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I am doing better ~ the pain is all but gone but the bruises are still very large and colorful! Then yesterday morning I woke up with 5 spider bites on my abdomen, 2 on my face and 1 on my neck. Today they are itching like crazy. Last night we had supper on our balcony so that was nice.

      Very sorry your back and hip went out, what a crummy time to be injured when there’s so much work to be done! I hope you feel better soon and take care while you continue on. Aging is no picnic ~ seems like when one ache goes away another pain takes it place…

      My sister-in-law told me once that when she was a little girl she would listen to her elders complain about all their aches and pains and wonder why they couldn’t find something better to talk about. Now she says she knows!

        1. Hmmm… According to the Spirit Animal website:
          “Like the spider waiting her prey patiently, the presence of this spirit animal in your life could point to the need to show patience regarding a project or some ideas that you are trying to realize.”
          Well, patience was never one of my virtues. Will have to ponder this…
          Where do you get the little spider graphics?

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