Deadly Beauty

I have been trying to get some walking done to improve my energy level, reduce my pain level and combat anxiety. I blame everything on hormones! We discovered one of mine is almost zero, so I started taking it by pill.

I was introduced to a new therapy. New to me. Dry needling. It is done by a physical therapist and my insurance covers it. Like acupuncture, in a way, I guess. I have only seen that procedure on television. Dry needling uses very fine needles to penetrate the muscles and disrupt them. It is supposed to promote new muscle cell growth to help with the realignment therapy.

Yes. It hurts. But, I am willing to deal with the pain of the procedure if it will relieve the daily pain in my hip and back and improve my mobility. I have tiny girls to play with. Granny needs to be able to do everything with them.

What does that have to do with the picture and the title of this post? I was bitten on my left foot by a copperhead on my 15th birthday. The snake only had one fang. It was dark and the ground was heavily littered with sycamore leaves. I was outside barefoot. I walked out into the yard and back on the same path. I must have stepped on him going out and he was after me when I came back. Daddy found him the next morning and killed him, thereby discovering the single fang. We had supposed it was a scorpion sting up to that point.

The bite itself felt like an electric shock running from the side of my foot up my entire leg. I swelled up from mid thigh down and laid up in the bed to recover with no after effects other than the swelling. The dry needling has moments of similar electric shocks when a nerve or severely tense muscle is hit. So, yes, I am having “snake bite therapy” to help get better!!

I can’t even imagine the pain the beauty in the photo would cause likely culminating in death. He was wary and still until I was past him and he felt clear to move out of the way. The next day he was crossing back over the road going the other way. Still wary and watchful. More cautious of me than I was of him.

Most people want to kill them on sight. But, I was on his porch. He wasn’t on mine. He is a special part of a healthy ecosystem. I respect them. I fear the consequences of a bad encounter. But, I don’t want to kill them needlessly.

Strangely, I felt privileged to be afforded a second look at him the next day. The road is wide and flat and clear and he is brightly marked and large. Easy to see. I stay in the middle anyway, just in case he or a cousin is near the edge. I walked wide around and he patiently waited for me to clear his path.

Missing Things

The past few days I have been recalling things from the past. In this battened down world we live in, all climate controlled interiors and automobiles. So much concern over every thing under the sun.

It rained some this week. Not so unusual. Except I never smelled it. Once upon a time, I would smell the rain before it arrived. We lived with open windows and screen doors that were latched at night only to keep the coons out. The wooden door stayed open. When a rain shower or storm was approaching, we could hear the thunder and smell the rain coming, I miss that.

This evening, I determined to sit outside as long as the mosquitoes would allow. As the evening faded to dusk, bright thunderheads billowed above darker clouds to the east. A rumble of thunder sounded. It didn’t come close enough to smell it.

I could hear the shrieks of children playing in the neighborhood. That used to be us in this very place.

The cicadas and crickets and frogs sang a deafening chorus. Shadows darkened. The evening sky was still pale. A dark flicker appeared. Bats! A couple of bats danced across the sky.

A made my way into the house reluctantly. Wanting to stay out in the coming darkness. Needing to come in and get ready for bed. I wanted to check on him, too.

He works painfully long hours. His day job and then the cows, along with all the other chores that living requires, makes for one tired fella.

I’m not much of a cow dog for him, but I get out there and try to move the way he says. We started the morning doing just that. They all loaded right up for a trip to the vet for shots. Lucky me!

I keep trying to find the magic in the ordinary. Most days I find one or two things. Some days, I come up blank. Some days, every thing feels magic.