Saturday

Black Snake


What exactly would be the occasion in which a snake swallowed its tail? As a symbol of eternal return this makes the same much of little sense as do so many human symbols.

I see black snakes from time to time, usually slipping through the grass, seemingly on their way to a specific destination rather than on a leisurely ramble. Or maybe enjoying a sunbath when not pressed to make an immediate living.  When I find the husk of a shed skin I think most of us could envy, if not the process, surely the result of that freshening.

I don't have any desire to know much about a black snake from a biological point of view (although I must admit to a certain curiosity about how long they live).  I prefer the sudden sighting and wonder at what must surely be the most graceful of beings. And I always think of Emily Dickinson's poem describing how with that first sighting we go 'zero to the bone'.

Scattered here and there among the deep greening of August leaves are the first of smallish yellow leaves and I think seeing these has given me the occasion to think about the slow and steady turn of one season into another. The eternal return.

Be well, black snake.  You don't have to swallow your tail to impress me.  Not at all.