Look Out

Originally posted April 28, 2013

Esau loves to walk in nature. The solitude surrounds him into a bubble of his own thoughts. His brain conjures up memories from the past as the smells saturate him. Esau is at peace. Peace eludes him lately. He is unsettled at work. His personal life is in shambles. This is just what he needed.

Sounds in nature are different, too. That is what brings him back to the here and now. Esau stops and stands very still, listening. The usual birds calling, smaller animals chattering, and the rustling of leaves have slowed. There is another distinct sound that sends chills down his spine. A rattle. Somewhere near him is a rattlesnake.

It had been so long since the last opportunity to be out that he forgot to get the anti venom to carry with him. A snake bite is the last thing he needs. He slowly turns his head to find the the rattlesnake ready to strike toward him. This thing is coiled and the rattle is vigorously shaking a warning. Esau continues standing statue-like until the snake begins to calm down. Once the rattle stops, Esau very slowly begins to back away from the snake. He is almost out of reach when a deer comes running through stirring the pot. The snake is back in attack mode. The deer is gone. The only thing left for the snake to strike at is Esau. The fangs catch his hiking boot. The snake is really unhappy now. Pulling his wits together and remembering his training, Esau again becomes motionless. His heart is pounding. His breathing quick and panicked. He concentrates on calming his body as he keeps an eye on the snake. The snake has recoiled ready to protect itself.

Esau and the snake both calm down after what seems to be hours, but is minutes in real time. This time the snake begins moving away in the opposite direction. As soon as it is far enough to be safe, Esau gets up and moves away from the scene. He makes it up the trail to an area of shaded rocks. After inspecting them for any of the snakes friends and finding none, he sits down on the cool rock, drinks some water, and replays everything that just happens before moving on toward his favorite spot in the whole world.

There it is. One can see for miles upon miles in every direction here. Esau eats the sandwich and apple he brought for lunch as he lets the breeze carry all his burdens over the horizon and far away. He leaves with a fresh view on life and thankfulness in heart that he was spared the poison of the snake.

He thinks about these things on his way back to the car. It would be great if human snakes made a rattle so you would know who not to trust. Human snakes don’t just want to warn you and get away from you. They want to devour you. That is the difference.

Esau drove away thinking, “I have to come out here more often. It brings me back to reality.”


Author: Pamela K. Young

I have not only lived many chapters in one life, but many lives in one body. The person I am today is far wiser than the me of young adulthood. My life is like your life with its ebb and flow. We are all connected in some way. I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, but what makes me, well, me is the way I wife, mother, and grandmother. I am a liver transplant survivor. Whatever devastation you have survived, we survived in our individual ways. I create with words and photos. I am a writer and photographer.

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