Yesterday, I pulled up in the driveway on my scooter. The cat was sitting at the top of the drive and as I got closer, I realized he had a snake he was tormenting. The snake turned and headed right towards my foot and I hastily scooted forward out of his way. I am sure he was harmless. He had a square head of a harmless snake, but still. Snakes make me squeamish for some reason. I have been known to easily capture large bugs, lizards and frogs and hold these creatures in my hands, studying them before letting them go, but I have never been comfortable around snakes. They make my heart seize in my chest and my hands shaky. Even the harmless ones. There's something about the way a snake moves and smells that makes me mistrust them. It probably has to do with seeing one too many scary movies involving snake attacks. Some Native American cultures see snakes as symbols of fertility and rebirth. They are harbingers of creativity.
Later that evening, there was an owl in the back yard. We could hear him hooting and could just make out his silhouette as he perched on a branch high up in one of our trees. It is the tree that has me worried because it is the last to grow leaves and first to drop them. I stand at the kitchen window and try to predict how much house it's going to hit when it falls over. That's another story though. One about the pros and cons of home ownership. I sat on the back step, watching and listening to the owl until he finally flew off. I remember hearing some folklore once that seeing an owl in the daytime means that someone is going to die. After J died, I thought about this often. We had seen an owl in the middle of the day after saying goodbye to J and his unit as they were leaving for Iraq. If we hadn't seen that owl that day, J would still be alive. If only it were that simple. Owls are not harbingers of doom or death, but of great wisdom.
If you are the type to believe in omens, then I have creativity and incite coming my way. If you are my type, you don't believe in omens. The snake just happened to be one of the many of Albus's victims. I am just happy it all was happening in the front yard where Josephine couldn't be involved. She steals Albus's victims for herself. I have walked out into the garage once to see what the animals were up to only to have Josephine look up at me, a small snake dangling from from her mouth like a long skinny mustache. At least this time the cat had some foresight to keep things where Josephine couldn't take it away from him. There have been owl sittings in the neighborhood for weeks now. One guy was even attacked by one while on his morning run through Brookside. I have heard the hoot hoot many time before. It was really not a surprise to finally see the source. My neighborhood is a good one for bird watchers. Just last week I saw the tiniest woodpecker with black and white stripes down his back.
It is just a coincidence they showed up on a day where I had a creative thought and a bit of incite.