It has been overcast for several days now, and I have been missing the sun shining on the cold dessert landscape. But this afternoon, driving over to town, I saw the Stillwaters shining in their snowy glory. The sky was gray and overcast, but there was a break big enough to cast light directly onto the peaks. They were covered in the snow from our recent storms and shining. Such a cheerful sight. I love the snow covered Stillwaters; the snow shows off the texture of the mountains. We don’t have mellow smooth rolling mountains out here in the west. We have wicked, rough peaks like rows of saw teeth or sharks teeth. They sometimes resemble broken teeth too. They are jagged and beautiful, something to look at.
The snow represents the new life that will come in the spring; a frozen life source that is desperately needed in the desert. Without the shining snow, the day looks gloomy, but without the snow, the flowers won’t be able to bloom either. Without the snow the springs, creeks, and ponds will dry up.
It is also a metaphor of our life too. The snow gives a glimpse of the ragged harshness of our lives. They are the days that don’t go our way or the times when life pulls the rug out from under our feet. But it also helps us remember that those days are brief. They will melt into the larger span of life. They will be insignificant in the bigger picture. But those days will also shape who we are. Without trial, we won’t learn. Without trial we don’t appreciate what goes well. Without trial life remains the same. The snow covered mountain peaks are all this and more.
They sooth my sole when the sun shines on the snow letting me know another season has come and the spring will be beautiful because of the frozen glory. When snow has come or the gloomy days pass with precipitation, I turn my gaze to the mountains for the affirmation of the change of seasons and the promise of water to come. Brighter days are the promise to come out of the gloom. I am thankful to live in such a place where the sun shines the majority of the year, and I know that soon it will be out to bring me new adventures. To see the snow into the spring at the tops of the highest peaks is a wondrous sight.
The day swiftly slipped into dusk as I made my way down the trail to my waiting car. Audible played Midnight Library on my earbud. In the background I could hear crickets. Ahead of me a dusty brown diamond head raised from the side of the trail. Being in mid-step, I could not detour. I tried to fly instead. Quickly my step turned into a leap as I flapped my arms all while screaming. I did not have contact with the snake.
It seams like every spring I have some kind of encounter with wildlife that I don’t particularly want to see. This is most often in the form of a snake. You would think that I would be more observant. And, I thought I was being safe. I watch the trail, especially this one in fear of tripping, so I should see the snake ahead of me, but I always miss them until I am practically on top of them. I am too focused on the trail right in front of me. I need to scan the area ahead and around as well.
Because of this I refreshed myself on what I should do if I actually get bit. I need to move away from the snake as calmly as I can, call 911, and if necessary keep walking, not running, toward my car or the road. The adrenaline and faster heartbeat is what moves the poison at a faster speed. So staying as calm as possible is what will help the most until help can be provided.
After this meeting with the snake, I watched much better scanning the brush and rocks in and around the trail. And because of this, I saw a little red and white snake slithering off trail into a pile of rocks. This is a much better encounter.