The roof of my two-story house is high up, and I don't think about it very often, except sometimes during the full moon when I'm looking out the window, waiting for the moon to move across the sky, shining on the roof and then down into my bedroom window. And even then, I'm not so much thinking about the roof, but the moonlight resting on it, the night sky holding my home close.
But then this summer, during a storm, the kids noticed rainwater dripping into our living room — and suddenly I did think about the roof. The repair work wasn't a big deal, but what was surprising was what we found on the roof.
A snake. A snake curled up on the roof shingles, as if it was sleeping. If I stand in the backyard, all the way back against the woods, I can see the dead snake, a coil plunked onto the bare roof. Somehow I hadn't looked up and noticed it before now.
At a new year's gathering with friends on the first day of the year, I was talking to my friends about the presence of snakes in my life. Two of my close friends, Poet Woman and Healing Plumber Guy, tell me that the snake dreams I have are a sign of change and transformation. It was my new year's resolution to think about change this year, and the way that I need to strip away layers, shedding old habits, wriggling into new growth.
I've had snake dreams repeatedly this year. And all spring and summer, I've seen real snakes, everywhere. On a walk with my brother. On a walk with a blogging friend. During a canoe ride with Quilt Artist. Repeatedly, I keep seeing garter snakes and water snakes, not the exotic snakes of my nightmares, but the snakes that are part of the landscape I live in. And now, it seems, I have even a snake on the roof of my home, dropped there no doubt by some creature with powerful wings.