Mandalas and Sunbathing Garter Snakes
By LandPaths Staff
March 23, 2020
By Amanda Ayala, Volunteer and Community Hub Specialist
Last week, on a sunny spring equinox afternoon, I opened all the doors of my family’s home and decided I would simmer some rosemary. I took a small offering and asked the plantita for permission and told them why I was wanting to pick some of their fragrant leaves. When I dropped the offering I jumped when I saw a long thin snake beneath it. I noticed it was a garter snake, something I had seen before. I crouched down and was so excited to see not one, but two garter snakes intertwined, sunbathing! I laid on my stomach and watched longer from a safe distance, so as not to spook them.
I then noticed another, a few inches away, and a bit more hidden.
Three sunbathing garter snakes!
I hung out with them for a while. I picked some rosemary went in the house and dropped it in the simmering water on the stove. Grabbed my sketchbook and a marker and went back outside to try and draw them. It wasn’t my favorite drawing but it was a good start. I took some pictures too. I had this opportunity to slow down and just pay attention to what was happening in that moment. I felt so happy with this quiet encounter. How lucky I was to have this time to notice and connect. After only leaving my house once since the previous week I was happy to have some interaction with my unknown neighbors.
During this time, attempting to be conscious of how physically close I am to people in my home and community, there has been a inspiration to create. Many folks are giving online live streamed lessons, posting videos, and having zoom meetings to connect and share.
One of my friends, #nosearte, had a couple of live mandala-creating sessions. I watched and made a few throughout the week. After this moving encounter with my serpent relatives I decided to create a mandala with them as inspiration and a day later another piece of art.
This time has been good reminder to me to go outside, slow down and pay attention. Knowing that even in my front yard there is a whole community of living ones moving at their pace.
Amanda Ayala, Volunteer and Community Hub Specialist
" This time has been good reminder to me to go outside, slow down and pay attention. Knowing that even in my front yard there is a whole community of living ones moving at their pace. "