I’m not sure the year, but in the late 1990s I was hiking a trail in Arizona with a friend. We had walked perhaps 2 miles and he wanted to sit while I insisted on going a little further up the trail in the hope of locating some petroglyphs that I had read about. Thinking it might just be a 10-minute walk I ventured forward while my friend settled in one spot to wait for me.
I can remember watching my feet take each step forward and thinking that I needed to rush because of keeping him waiting. I kept going forward. I hadn’t gone more than a half mile when all of the sudden I heard a rattle. It’s an unmistakable sound. Less than 10 feet away, I saw the rattlesnake shaking his rattle, coiled and ready to get me off his property.
I know what you are supposed to do. Stand still. Wait for the rattlesnake to settle down. However, the adrenaline was rushing, and I could already feel my heart pounding outside of my chest. No thinking was involved. The fear was real and immediate. I made a move that I hadn’t even tried before. I went up in the air and went back 5 feet. I think I screamed as I heard my friend running toward me.
I just wanted to see the petroglyphs on the side of the rocks. Instead, I experienced fear and terror. There was no doubt that if that rattle hadn’t started to warn me, that I would have been bitten. The petroglyphs didn’t matter anymore, but the fear did. I felt it throughout my body. This was a very dangerous moment.
Much of fear that we experience now is apprehension. The dangers are real and often not immediate. The virus that we realize now is so contagious is surging. But we can be calm. We can be careful. We can exercise, eat well, do qigong, wear a mask, take our vitamin D and Zinc and take one step at a time through this.
The opportunity in all this, as I repeatedly have said is to examine how we will create life after this is over. What have we learned about our needs? How do we want to create life? What is the balance between work and home? What are you really interested in? Is there a subject that you have taken up that is your passion?
In keeping with this questioning there is a Winter Solstice coming up. We are walking-putting one step in front of the other toward it. It is the day with the least amount of light, yet it is the day that we can receive the most information to go forward. This is a moment for contemplation. There is a point on the Bladder/ Water Meridian called the ‘extremity of yin’. The Yin is all about receiving. This Bladder point is the last point on the meridian by the little toe before the Qi begins to move up again. This is the moment to be still until we are ready to put one foot in front of the other.