Posted in Air, Change, Covid-19, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Woods


Resting in a sunny spot in the woods.

… Because it sheds its skin, the snake has long been a symbol of death and rebirth.  It sheds its skin as it outgrows the old.  This death and rebirth cycle is part of what snake represents.  It has ties and significance to the ancient alchemists and their symbolic transmutation of lead into gold.  This is associated with higher wisdom that comes with the passing of time.  This cycle of death and rebirth is often symbolized by the ouroborus, the ancient image of a snake swallowing its own tail.  It is the symbol of eternity.

Before the snake begins to shed its skin, its eyes will begin to cloud over.  It gives the snake a trancelike appearance.  To many mystics and shamans this indicated the ability of the snake to move between the realms of the living and the dead, of crossing over from life to death and then back to life again.  As the skin begins to shed, the eyes begin to clear as if they will see the world anew.  For this reason, alchemists often believed that wisdom and new knowledge would lead to death and rebirth, enabling the individual to see the world from an entirely new perspective.

… Anytime a snake shows up as a totem, you can expect death and rebirth to occur in some area of your life.  This rarely reflects an actual death, but rather a transition.  Look for a change in conditions and a movement to new life.  Examine what is going on around you.  Are you needing to make changes but aren’t for some reason?  Are you trying to force change too quickly?  Are you striking out at people and shouldn’t?  Are you not striking and should?  Remember that a snake not only uses its venom and bite to overcome prey, but also for defense.  What is needing to be healed?  What new opportunities are surfacing that you need to strike out for and take advantage of?

… Snakes are symbols of change and healing.  They have speed and agility, so those who have snakes come into their life will usually find the changes and shifts occur quickly and are soon recognized and defined.  When snake comes into your life you can look for a rebirth into new powers of creativity and wisdom.

~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

Shed skin. (This is from June of 2013. I had a newer image of a snake skin that I found in the juniper by the kitchen window, but must have deleted it for whatever reason because I can’t find it now.)

Happy Saturday!  It is Saturday, isn’t it?  There is little change in the rhythm of the days lately, making it difficult to remember what day it is.  I am pondering the possibility of setting up some kind of schedule for myself that will help differentiate the days.  It’s hard to say if that’s really necessary or if it’s just another little mind game.  The latter, I suspect.  It might not be such a bad thing to let go of the organization of time.

One more look at this beautiful snake who I visited with in the woods yesterday.

I’ve been trying to imagine what it must have been like, so long ago, when there were no man-made calendars or clocks.  Actually, it’s not hard to imagine it at all, given our present circumstances.  Nature provides time frames in the form of sunrises and sunsets, and the seasons.  If I were to give a name to the past week or two, I’d call it The Greening Time.  Soon we will enter the Time of the Irises and Peonies.

Crazy Wind Day.

It’s funny how arbitrary time becomes when you don’t have to pay attention to it.  This small exercise in renaming the months or the days makes that more apparent than ever, at least to me.

Living like this means you don’t have a container anymore for the different days, can’t hold in a little twenty-four-hour-sized box set of events that constitute a unit, something you can compartmentalize, something with a beginning and an end, something to fill with a to-do list. Living like this means that it all runs together . . . one of those sunsets that seem to take longer than is possible, where the sun just refuses to go down, where the hour seems to elongate to the point that it doesn’t seem like it can stretch any farther without detaching completely from the hour before it, like a piece of taffy, like under sea molten lava forming a new island, a piece of time detaching from the seafloor and floating up to the surface.

~ Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Colorful in the wind.

Early this morning I listened to a story told by an excellent storyteller.  Hanuman Academy has been presenting what they call The Metamorphosis Dialogues.  Once a week, on Fridays, a storyteller presents a story or, as it’s put in their newsletter, they present us with a “..brilliant storyteller to enchant us with a soulful tale.”  I didn’t see the sign-up email for it until Thursday (which was actually Crazy Wind Day) so I missed the first few stories.  I’m going to try to catch up this weekend.  I do enjoy a good story and a good storyteller.  I often wish I had a talent for oral storytelling.  I suppose I could develop some skill at it if I practiced.  I think I’ll work on that for a while.  I will do it during my morning meetings in the woods with the trees and birds, spin them tales of all kinds.  Then I will practice with my grandsons while we Zoom or use Marco Polo.

I like that idea.  Very much.  I think one of the things we really need now are stories, old and new.  Some of the old stories could use some updating to make them more relevant to us and to our time.  Or maybe they just need someone to come along and tell them in a way that makes them more relevant.  I believe there might be a difference.

Fierce Cloud Day.

The Hanuman Academy storytelling time is live on Zoom, but they also have the replays available for those who can’t make it to the live version (or, like me, who are late to party and already missed the first few stories).  Here is a link:  The Metamorphosis Dialogues.  You will have to register (and yes, that will mean emails).  The story I listened to early this morning was Darren Silver’s An Indian Tale from Karma to Dharma.  It’s a wonderful story with some wonderful messages buried within it, as is true of most wonderful stories.  I highly recommend it.


I thought I had a lot on my mind when I started this post, words ready to be typed and deleted, replaced or gone but not forgotten.  I start and stop a lot when I’m putting together a post.  I often begin in the early morning when the words flow freely.  I come back later, hone and shape, find a theme somewhere in the mess of words and thoughts that are usually scattered all over the place.  Sometimes the images lead the way.  Sometimes the words do.

It will soon be time.

But the words have stopped now, and the thoughts have flown the coop.  It’s time to step outside and see what the world is offering on this Laughing Gull Day.  Maybe the irises have begun to open.  Or another inhabitant will show up to remind me of a story, or to tell me a story.  Perhaps it will be a story about how to live in liminal times.  I’d like that.  Like many people, I struggle with the in-between, the uncertainty, the waiting for the next phase.

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change, there is power.

~Alan Cohen

In its newness.

Thank you so much for visiting with me today in this virtual way.  Let’s meet out at the dock for sunset this evening.  It’s scheduled for 7:55 PM but if you’re paying attention to the light, you’ll figure out the time without having to look at a clock.  I like to go early, when the sun is about even with the mid-line of the trees out back.  It’s been somewhat warm today, near 70°F, but it cools off quickly once the sun slides down towards the horizon.  A light jacket or sweater or sweatshirt should do the trick.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.  ♥♥♥

Yesterday’s Laughing Gull sunset. Hundreds of them came flying by, towards the west, probably settling in a field nearby for the night.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,401)  Laughing gulls glowing with the light of the setting sun.  1,402)  A good story, one that teaches or soothes or brings hope.  1,403)  Finding those moments of great joy or laughter and then letting them go when they’re ready to go, making room for the next one.  1,404)  Another beautiful day for us to enjoy.  1,405)  Spring’s reminders of rebirth.


Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

9 thoughts on “Rebirth

  1. I like to hear a good story. After all it’s the narrative we tell ourselves that influences who we become. Therefore to tell other people a story is to influence them, subtly, but one hopes with good intentions. I wonder how your grandsons will take to you becoming a storyteller. I bet there’ll be a story in that.


  2. I wanted to Like this, but WordPress was very confusing–or I am confused. Anyway, love the piece. Snakes are fascinating. I always consider a sighting a sign of luck.

    Beda Kantarjian Co-coordinator Seminole County Writers Florida Writers Association Published Author-Short Stories Royal Palms Literary Award Winner


  3. Lovely post, thank you Robin. I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about symbolism and mythology, so I loved reading about what the snake symbolize for some. Lots of transitions for all of us. And I have a hard time with time, too, although up until this weekend I’d been giving myself weekends, and not working on my computer at all Friday night through Sunday night. Unfortunately I’ve broken that rule this week, but that’s ok. I can always pretend Monday is the weekend, ha! Looking for the silver lining…:)


  4. Robin…nature is ever present and seems to be extremely visible to you in so many ways. Perhaps your practice of telling them stories may inspire you to create stories with a nature component. Hmmm…😊

    I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful day today. The weather was amazing here today! 😊


  5. Lovely, thoughtful post, Robin. My older daughter has been delighted to find a snake and salamanders in her backyard–this is their first spring living in their house.


  6. Nice thoughts and quotes, as well as photos, Robin. Time for me, these past few years and esp. now, seems to have less meaning. I like your thoughts about how folks of old dealt with the concept. Certainly, seasons and moons were an important marker. I once read that in Germany, there are 12 seasons, about 3 to each of ours. It made sense to me. Spring starting March 21, is very different from its end on June 21. Early, mid- and late seasons.
    Hope your day is a good one. Looks like it is going to be warm here – our first 70s day.


  7. A rebirth of nature, that is a good analogue for what is happening in our societies these days. Hopefully we will come out of this experience being better human beings. And even in these times of much bleakness, there is plenty to me thankful for and happy about. Thanks for an inspiring post.


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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