I've lived in the Phoenix area for ten years now. In all that time I'd never seen a Black Widow spider, a scorpion, or even a rattlesnake until recent years. But they were here.
I've learned a little bit about snake behavior - - which is a WHOLE LOT more than I even cared to. Even so, it's prudent to know what lurks. You just never know when you might meet up with the lurker.
I now understand that rattlesnakes are particularly unpleasant (and aggressive) in the summer when they're courting, and again in the late fall when they're hungry & getting ready for a more dormant existence.
It's bad enough to come upon one all stretched out on a golf-cart path, road or sidewalk where they languish to absorb the warmth of the asphalt. But it's an altogether different matter to come upon one in it's coiled position, or when it's wound tightly into a bush or shrub (I didn't know they did that!!).
Rattlers aren't interested in striking anything they can't eat, so - most of the time, anyway - they're polite enough to rattle their tales in warning. It pays to have a listening ear at a time such at this.
Furthermore, it's a fact: there's no such thing as a rattlesnake whisperer!
So, as I sauntered along this morning with both eyes and ears alert, another of life's lessons attended my steps.
If it's prudent to beware of what danger lurks in the physical world, it is equally prudent t.o beware of dangers on all paths - especially those spiritual in form & context. Just because I feel safe doesn't mean I can take my ease. Nor does it mean I need to go out, or return with fear.
On July 24 I'll leave the desert for the rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. The life lessons won't change with the climate, for the lurkers continue to lurk.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:23, 25-27