We draw our fears to us – the snakes told me so.

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Update: Pictures of some of the snakes on our block are found in Let’s get the snake pictures out of the way, shall we?

After our little adventure with the very localized flood, I flattened out a little porch area outside the pit that was our lounge/bedroom, and we extended the tin roof over it, then I built mud walls and made it into an actual room, complete with glass sliding windows and a flat-stone tiled floor – and that became the new bedroom, simply so we wouldn’t drown in our sleep (see yesterday’s post HERE).

However, we were back to uninvited visitors (for earlier stories on visitors under the bed, see SNAKES and BATS) because we still had no door.

This particular evening was weird. Around sunset I had bumped into a variety of snakes around the camp, the poisonous variety this time. I say weird because you don’t normally get clustered sightings like that, particularly of different types. One was a Death Adder, which is deadly, but at least very distinguishable and – more importantly – slow. The other I think was a brown snake, but might have been one of any number, all dangerous. In Australia, pythons are about the only non-poisonous snakes, we have a high collection of the kill-you types.

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Anyway, on this evening, I turned in ahead of Greg and left a lantern on for him. I fell asleep, but woke perhaps half-an-hour later, rolled over in bed, opened my eyes and found a snake right at the bedside. It was reared up about a third of its body-length and looking me right in the eye.

This one was most definitely not a python. It was something with a decent set of fangs and a forked tongue, and may or may not be aggressive.

Do we draw our fears to us? I think we do. How many of us bump into the very things we don’t want to because we hold that image, that fear, in our minds a great deal of the time? How many of us live with troubles because our troubles consume our thoughts. How many soar because we only think of what we want to be and have – not what we don’t want to be or have? Not many of the latter, but I’m learning. I’ve decided that’s what I’m here to do – that’s what we are all here to do to some extent – learn to master our thoughts and take charge of our lives.

I gazed at the snake and the snake gazed at me. Neither of us moved. Then I thought to myself, I can’t keep worrying about these things. Snakes don’t go around biting people for fun. Like any other animal, they will defend themselves, and more people get bitten because they don’t look where they put their feet and they stand on one. Or they attack it. People are not the natural prey of snakes, so snakes generally aren’t interested in people.

It had come in exploring, it probably only reared up when it saw me roll over and face it. It might have been a defensive move, or curiosity that made it rise up like that. What I did next would make a difference to its own response.

It proved to be another turning point for me. Strangely enough, then and there I gave up worrying about snakes. I said aloud, “Oh f*ck it,” and rolled back away, turning my back to it – and I went back to sleep. I totally let it go, I just couldn’t be bothered anymore. It left. Greg never saw it, I didn’t see it again, it just left.

Interestingly, for the remainder of my time there, I didn’t see another snake. Not one. When fear went, my experiences with them disappeared, too.

We lived out there for near five years, finally forced off the block for financial reasons, and we miss it still. You can think in terms of living rough – it was certainly that – or in terms of adventure – we got that, too. What I value most of all, though, is what it taught me about myself and the confidence it gave me that I never had before. I grew up out there, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to some extent, and found my feet in ways I never could in the city or a country town.

That development has come with me and stayed with me, and I got that directly from the land.

Next week, back to writing – Sevi and Va’el giving me a different sort of trouble. Oh no!

Cheers!

Allyson

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