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The patient recovers

Grace was bit by a snake. (She is fine.)

It came out of nowhere. One minute, we were having a nice walk, the next minute she was bleeding profusely from her face and there was a snake coiled on the path.

I panicked. She was whimpering and clawing at her face and there was blood.

A lot of blood.

But somehow, somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I had to take a breath and think. There was a calm inner voice that told me I had to take a close look at the snake – I had to be able to identify it.

I got her back to the house, dripping blood all through the front hall and I put her into the car. The inner voice reminded me how to get to the vet and stop at red lights.

This is not to say I was calm, cool and collected the whole time. There were many moments when I favored freaking out over breathing. The most notable moment being when I was trying to call Husband on the way to the vet and I thought the phone wasn’t working. I was swearing my head off, cursing at my phone and J was on the line saying “Hello? Hello?” in response to my flurry of filth.

But the point is, when I could find the moment to stop swearing and breathe – there was stillness underneath all that panic. When I paused for a second, there was that voice that said:

“Hey! You! Stop flapping your arms uselessly, here’s what you need to do next…”

When I could stop and access it, there was a peaceful inner sense that was leading me the right way. It was always there for me. I just needed to be still enough to hear it.

It’s great to be in the moment and breathe when you have candles lit, a comfy cushion and softly ringing bells. But remembering to give yourself that space to breathe and listen, and not just react mindlessly when something unexpected happens – that is the true goal.

It’s also the biggest challenge.

I don’t like surprises – even so-called “good” surprises. But sometimes they are unavoidable. Sometimes life throws a snake in the path and you have to try to deal with it gracefully.

My girl is doing fine; the snake was non-poisonous. She is on an antibiotic and painkillers that make her a little sleepy; a great excuse for cuddling on the couch with mom and dad.

I am reminded that things can change in a moment. I might as well be in the moment with all of it.

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