Snake! Menopause Courage?

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I’ve read that post-menopausal women are braver, bolder, gutsier. Oh please, please, pick me!

The book is still out for this menopausal woman. What about you?

I was hoping this newly delivered bravery would just wash over me. Not so.

I did make steps up in bravery with my cancer and the death of my mom. In serious times, when you have little choice as to what will happen, bravery not only gets you through, but it enables you to appreciate the power in the pain, the miracles in the horror, the grace in the gravity. Whence the bravery? My inner soul? God? My dear family and friends? My ability to sometimes see the whimsy amidst the woe? Not sure.

But whatever bravery I’ve garnered in recent years, I’ve only taken baby steps with snakes.

Cliff loves snakes! He has a deep appreciation for these creatures. And so, I am working on snake courage.

On our lovely Hillsborough Riverwalk in April, the black snakes come out, especially in one section that is darker and more wooded than the rest. I can handle a snake yards ahead of me. I like warning. But I don’t want to chance upon a snake, and I am creeped out that they crawl up tree trunks and dangle from branches.

But this year, I forced myself, a few times, with eyes wide open, to go down that snakey path. Didn’t see any, but wasn’t I at least a little bit brave? Progress!

Cliff says the black snakes aren’t on the path or in the trees anymore. They’re off in the woods after mating, doing other important snake things.

It’s amazing how brave I have now become.

Photo courtesy Clifford Younger.

9 responses »

  1. I suppose we all fear something and for any number of reasons. As unbelievable as it sounds, I probably fear dogs more than snakes. I am not sure why. Maybe because they are so ubiquitous! Snakes seem far more random and less intrusive to me. They seldom invade my personal space.

    On the other hand, I’ve owned and loved a particular dog and he eventually became an in the house dog, even. Snakes on the other hand, would never be allowed to live in my house and should one arrive, I would possibly move on out.I guess this is all relative.

    Bravery is relative, too. I am brave about some things, fearful of others. I do not know if bravery improves because of menopause or if it is simply a by-product of aging. But I think we begin to figure out what is worth fearing and when it is safe to march bravely toward perceived danger. And when we feel so passionately about protecting someone else that we forget to fear for ourselves.

  2. I HATE all things slithery too. But I force myself to walk a path (in The Villages on a golf course) where one slithered across the path one time. Can’t walk it without thinking about it! Not sure if it’s courageous or just have to get to the other side!

  3. I will have to tell you, Barbara, how I have killed 2 copperheads in the past year… not sure if it’s bravery or just plain detest for these poisonous critters. I would not harm a black snake or other nonvenemous crawler.

  4. I like snakes…when they send me postcards from far away places. Not when I have to share my space with them.

  5. Oh my goodness I am not a fan either. Last summer I amazed myself that I saved one from our cat, who was playing with it. I did a whole lot of deep breathing and squealing but did it! (Mind you it was only about 12 inches long and I didn’t touch it). I did feel a little brave.
    Btw congrats to you for holding one in Bald Head. I won’t be at that stage for a long time!

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