Lately, here in the early days of the summer, it seems that I have become a reptilian protector of sorts.
While traveling to and from Mission Mountain, I have found Eastern Box turtles and black snakes on the road before me. At some risk to myself, I have stopped to pick up or otherwise assist these vulnerable journeyers towards making a safe crossing.
One snake in particular was not happy at being disturbed. It coiled to strike and was loathe to move anywhere with me standing over it blocking the warm sun, but eventually it too made its way into the woods on the edge of the road.
These experiences remind me again that I came here to this place to learn what it means to be a slow mover.
In the midst of a life that is full and a society that gets faster and louder by the day, the quiet of these hills and the depth of thought that has gone into and still goes into creating this space envelopes me.
These creatures speak to me and say that it is okay to be slow. They tell me that slow moving is dangerous at times and we need others to assist us in life’s more vulnerable crossings. They teach me that I am not always happy at being moved. I coil to strike or crawl into my shell, but history of relationship and communal living ask that I cross over.
If I am to continue to be on the journey, then there are times when I must allow others to care for me and to move me from the warm sun of complacency. And I in return am to do the same.
(excerpt from a June 2001 essay)