Today we hike to a waterfall, and I see my very first rattlesnake on the way.
I repeat: I walk into a rattlesnake!
We stare at one another. He rattles. They actually rattle. It’s loud and scary as he sticks that snaky tongue out and uncoils.
I toss a rock near it, and it slithers away.
We’re all stunned, really. And no, I don’t have proof in a photo. Some things you shouldn’t try to capture on film. You just mind your own business and get out of the way. Besides, we have beauty to find:
Like the people you love most in the whole world walking on ahead of you to a waterfall.
The little one is running because she just saw the rattlesnake.
Now she’s running because there’s a waterfall ahead, and we are hot and tired.
The oldest climbs the mountain to get a better look and cool off in the shade and mist.
And then she guides her little sister through the waterfall.
True, rattlesnakes lurk in the rocks and on the trail, but every beautiful thing hides a bit of danger. We shouldn’t be surprised at this. That’s what makes things sublime after all: fear and wonder both.
On this day, I remember that on this quest for beauty, there’s danger indeed. We press on, follow the path, and keep our wits about us.
Have you seen poisonous snakes on your hiking adventures?