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Eek, A Snake! - Fears

Hello and welcome to this rare and precious Friday, September 18, 2020. Today is a gift that so many will not get to experience. Make it count.


I wasn’t exactly sure what to write about this week until I went outside this morning to “inspect” my ash-covered garden. Walking down our wet rock walkway (RAIN – YAY) a slithering little Garter snake, or “Joe No-Shoulders,” as my partner DC refers to them, crossed my path. I’m completely comfortable with this little reptilian variety. DC, on the other hand, has a debilitating fear of all snakes.

Fear is a normal part of the human experience. As a species, as with most other species, we evolved with fear. Fear protects us from danger. When we become aware of a threat—poisonous snakes, lions, tigers, or bears, for instance—our awareness heightens in such a way that it informs us that we need to take some sort of action. In this way, fear is highly useful. When I used to climb vertical rocks, a healthy amount of fear improved my attentiveness and focus. With too much fear, I would tense up and was prone to make mistakes – fall. With too little fear, I found myself in life-compromising positions. It’s been a long time since I’ve climbed and, in the interim, I have developed an incapacitating fear of heights. But I’m not wanting to talk about my fear of heights or DC’s fear of snakes. Fear comes in many forms.