I have written before about spirit animals and totems and this one, 2014 was without a doubt the most profound and powerful year of them all. Any skeptics or non believers would have to pause and acknowledge that what was happening were signs too undeniable not to witness. Signs so strong that they were literally smacking me in the face and leaving behind sings of harm. Unintentional harm that came along with spiritual growths.I was still working at “The ugly beauty store” and I had become miserable. I struggled with the cattiness and ugliness, and the non compassionate behavior that most believed in, in the hopes to selfishly propel themselves to what they thought would be the top. Human life, respect for others and everything good we should show our fellow brothers and sisters was replaced with egoistical motives of…what do I even call it….egoistical self preservation that became a full time job to them. People I once promoted were behaving in a way very foreign to me and I couldn’t relate. Achieving their dreams had a whole new meaning and I was standing in their way. The promotion wasn’t enough because it was my job they were after and jealousy and envy are ugly creatures to content with.
It was 2014 and for me it was the year of the snake. Never before and never since have I seen so many snakes in my life. It didn’t matter where we went, there would be a snake crossing my way somewhere. Slithering across the trail, sunning on a rock, hanging out by and in the water, making a straight bee-line towards me while walking by as if pursuing me in some sort of eerie way, I felt like the hunted when this happened. It took the fun out of hiking and to be honest with you, I was in constant “High alert”. I never had a bad experience with a snake, but like most people I didn’t feel drawn to snakes in the way that I would want one for a pet, even I am an animal lover. The increased sightings and the fear of stepping on one by accident, definitely had me on edge and disrupted the otherwise so peaceful vibe of being out in nature.
I once heard that we command things into our lives through the thoughts we send out into the universe and at some point I thought that all these snakes appeared because I was constantly in awareness and thinking about them. True or not, it became something that followed me on just about every hike and there was always a snake somewhere, lingering or chasing after me. In prior years the sighting of a snake was so unusual and a rare, it became quite the occasion to see one. It completely flopped in 2014 and now it was the other way around, not seeing a snake would become a rarity. I seen a variety of snakes of which none I could name back to you. Some were all black, others black with yellow stripes and yet others brownish in color with some of them several feet long. Luckily I never came across a rattlesnake, as they do reside here in the high desert.
It was a few days before my birthday in July as we drove up to Fern Falls, located about an hour away from my home near Plumas Eureka state park. It’s one of my favorite areas close to my home and another spot that never gets old. We stopped approximately one mile away from the trailhead at a round small waterhole we had visited before. In hindsight a very short hike I would become very grateful of later on in the day. The last time we had been here was during the winter months, seeing the spot from above and telling ourselves that we had to come back in the summer. This would make an awesome spot to spend some time. Well now was that time and our intent was to scope it out and take a closer look. The descend was steep in parts and required us to maneuver through thick brush and over some decent sized boulders to get to the bottom. Snake heaven and I would have never known what was hiding underneath the thick branches or how close I came to stepping on a snake. I think sometimes it’s better not to know and you can’t constantly consume yourself with worrying thoughts of the “What if”. It would ruin your day, your life and leave you worried about everything. Ultimately becoming a worried little soul. I’m not saying not to be cautious, I’m merely saying that we can’t always worry about everything, especially about the things we don’t have control over anyways. Back to the situation at hand, you definitely had to pay attention to where you were stepping in order to make the descent a safe one out here. The biggest challenge was on the bottom of the steep ravine, on level ground. A few stepping stones across the flowing waters were exposed and were your only way to get to the other side. The rocks were leading to a little resting area next to the waterhole were you could rest and sit down within close proximity. The rocks had become slippery and were covered with green algae in parts. Bracing myself with my wooded staff, very carefully we managed and got safely across. Phew….sweating already, but what’s an adventure without just a little hint of danger, right? Well this one I would have gladly passed up.
The snow and ice was gone by now and on this July day the water was warm and looked inviting enough to take a dip. The pool was nestled into a round granite bowl that was fed by the waterfall above. Water was running through the bowl and continued on over the now exposed stepping stones to descend further down the hillside in smaller cascades. Exposed granite rocks and lush green brush and vegetation added to the dramatic views. It was a sunny summer day with blue skies and not a cloud in sight. Perfect for a dip.
The snake sightings at that point had been somewhat under control (a few, but not to the point they took over my life) and the thought of seeing a snake didn’t even cross my mind on this beautiful day. The place was heaven and after settling in, spreading my towel and ridding myself of my pack, I proceeded to explore the round little granite bowl. I went in several times that day, submerging myself in natures swimming pool we had all to ourselves, while enjoying myself and being high on life. The rest of the time we would nap or just sit, feet in water, having a picnic and admiring this neat place and it’s surrounding beauty. Hours passed as the time neared to head back and we slowly packed up the few material things of our humble outing. We would have to cross over the slippery rocks again and it was my least favorite thing about the otherwise amazing place. “Just take your time” I thought and use your staff for balance like you did before. The water wasn’t deep and the worst case scenario would be that I slipped my foot into the water and got my shoes wet. So I thought…..but what happened was actually much, much, much worse.
To be continued….sorry for the cliffhanger lol…