I've been waking up with nightmares again, the recurring snake dreams I've had my whole life. So it's not surprising, perhaps, that when I took a walk in my own woods, I kept seeing serpentine shapes everywhere. The Scotch pines in my woods have branches that curve and curl, and the branches that have fallen to the floor of the forest, draped across old stumps or half-submerged in puddles, look like snakes. The thick vines of the wild grapes slither down from the bare branches of trees.
I wore my tall boots because this time of year the woods are filled with deep puddles of murky water. I didn't see any real snakes, of course — it's still too cold. I won't see a real snake until the end of the month, until we get enough warm weather to make the green burst. Yet, even as I walked, sometimes striding over dry ground, sometimes plowing through the murky water edged with bumps of green moss, I still kept thinking about the snakes in my dreams and what they might mean.