Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A shaking encounter

Winter has given way to Summer. Weather is getting hotter by the day and all creatures which creep and crawl and which had until now been confined to their holes and fissures in the ground, have woken up to resume their summer time activities.
Amongst these creatures there was one (with a somewhat adventurous nature) who decided that it was a pleasant night to slither out from among the cover of the grass and lie smartly coiled up in the middle of the road for a well deserved snooze when along came this clumsy female who had no sense of where she was heading and even less of what she was treading on and stepped right on top of him.
Ouch ………

That female, my worthy friends, was none other than my own unworthy self.
I had been wearing an open chappal which left my toes and most of the rest of my foot uncovered. It was my toe that came in to contact with the tightly coiled body of the snake just as I was about to put my full body weight on it. My first thought was that I had stepped on a rat. Highly repulsed, I instinctively jumped forward. (I am about as little fond of rats as I am of snakes, though admittedly, given the choice I would rather step on a rat than a snake any day). It took me about half a second to realize that the neatly coiled body belonged to no rat. I shouted a warning to my mother and daughter who were following close behind.
At the sound of my high pitched voice the snake indignantly uncoiled itself and slithered back into the grassy bushes along the side of the road.
Looking at the whole episode from the snake’s point of view once again I must say that I can not help but sympathize with the poor creature. How annoying to be stepped on , yelled and rudely pointed at when all you ever wanted to do was sleep, at least that is what I am guessing he was doing, judging from the way in which it allowed me to step on it and then the lazy unhurried manner in which it uncoiled it self later on.
I am able to see the comical aspect of the whole incident now but I have no qualms in admitting that I was pretty shaken when it happened. I mean who wouldn’t be, if they looked down and saw a meter long, two inch thick snake right under their foot.
I ask my self the question what would I have done had that snake decided to strike? It had every reason to do so. The answer to that question is that there is absolutely nothing that I could possibly have done to avoid it.
The fact that it didn’t strike had nothing to do with my nerves, my courage or my quick thinking life saving action, none of which came into play at that moment (And I am not altogether too sure if I even have an adequate amount of those qualities). It was simply pre decided that I would be allowed to pass unharmed.
I am a strong believer that our destiny is what we make it but at the same time I strongly believe there are certain things that are beyond our control.
Two conflicting views and yet I believe in both of them.
Last night was just another reminder that I have to be grateful to God for tilting the balance in my favor in a situation that I had no power to control.