For a few moments I melded with the sunlit rocky outcrop reflected in the glass. It was peaceful there without my mind unraveling its usual tale of woe.
Heart is wrenched at the thought of the old man who looked like my father, shuffling along in front of me a few days ago. As time goes I somehow miss him more. I thought it would all fade as the years passed.
Begins another day.
There are lizards in my life. As a personal animal totem–not necessarily mine, but maybe… a lizard can symbolise repetition of cycles. It can also mean a person is extremely good at facing their own fears and moving between realities and alternate existences. How does one know what is reality and what is otherworldly? Both can seem so real and yet so preposterous.
Our bearded dragon sits patiently in the tree near the patio, waiting for his lunch to crawl or fly past. Take away, fast food. Or sometimes he sits in the top of the rosemary bush, doing much the same, but the scenery is different. Now and then he trots out onto the golf course, a hundred feet or so in front of the house, and he sits. Frozen in the heat. Occasionally he raises a leg and holds it in the air, as if uncertain of his next move. Or he bobs his head up and down–now what is that about? Makes me smile.
The pygmy goannas rent a holiday space in the rafters above the insulation in our house. They come and go and, except for years of mice in plague proportions, keep the house fairly rodent-free. Hearing the occasional scuffle in the ceiling is more reassuring than worrying. They sometimes peer at me through stored pots in the corner of the courtyard beside the clothesline. Is she friend or foe? I turn to hang a pillowcase, hear a soft sliding sound and look back in time to see a long dark tail disappearing into the roof space. Very occasionally I see them out and about, crawling through the courtyard, stopping frequently in case a snack is nearby. Once, in winter, I discovered them sunning on the side of the studio. Am guessing the rammed earth walls are very user friendly for their claws. They have been around this property since we moved here 20 years ago, and probably before that.
Geckos are ubiquitous. They party at night when we are asleep, feasting on a banquet of mosquitoes, moths and insects, if the copious droppings are anything to go by. Our geckos almost never die in the house, thank goodness, but they love to shed their skins here. Every few months I find a gecko skin, nearly perfectly formed and left behind in the ledge of our bedroom window. The skins are translucent, soft and pliable. The window is always in dappled light, with leaf litter below and native bushes a few feet in front. It must seem a friendly space. I wonder what it feels like to not just metaphorically shed one’s skin?
The art of my life is when I see things that evoke feelings which I am able to access and turn into words or drawings. I wish for you, lizards and alternate realities and a muse who will help you spin them into gold.
When we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen. ~ Henry David Thoreau
I am not surprised at all that your message and mention of the lizard totem speaks to the heaviness that has weighted my spirit for a few weeks now. So many times you deliver a message or idea that speaks directly to me. I probably should have known that lizards shed their skin – I just never thought of it. I find snake skins here often, and think of them as a treasure when I come across one. I believe today is the day to “shed my skin” seeking just the right “friendly” place to transition. The morning sun is calling me… just as soon as I finish my coffee!
I’m so pleased you found something in this post. It felt a bit strange to me as I wrote it, just came to me a bit differently than usual, perhaps a substitute muse is filling in 🙂 Your comment made me smile at the end Lori. I hope the sun warmed you and made you feel at peace.
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Very beautiful and a concept that is true to my heart! I have been feeling the shedding of my skin for the last couple of years…true skin shedding takes time—making us vulnerable and new and ….oh, so many things. But I do feel like I’m getting stronger. I just don’t know where or how…as the skin is still coming off!
Skin shedding does take time Linda. And yes, we feel a bit wobbly and new afterward. Best to you as you finish the shedding and begin anew.
There are lizards in our life here too, similarly they are welcome. Your words draw their natures and possible contexts in our own lives so beautifully. I never cease to wonder that these small creatures -apparently- happily coexist in our urban environs. I’m grateful for the gift of your refreshing viewpoint when so many people see lizards et al as a nuisance or alien much as they do aspects of themselves they haven’t taken the opportunity to understand. Making a practice of looking outside ourselves often provides some clarity ♡
What a lovely, thoughtful comment Dale. I’m glad my positivity of the lizards came through. They are such interesting and shy creatures, and do some very helpful things around the place. It is so fascinating the many creatures that have adapted to the urbanisation, kangaroos and wallabies, dingoes, lizards and even some birds. Watched a Grand Designs tv show on French Island this week and obviously a koala adopted the building site. Very sweet to see.
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Lovely post. I just got comfortable in my skin and that took about 60 years. Hope I don’t shed too soon..joy…
Hey Ron, lovely to hear from you. Yes, it took me until about 60 to get comfortable in my skin too. I’m still a work in progress. Thanks for stopping by.
Loved these thoughts on lizards,geckoes and the rest… Our rain forest is home to two rare and almost extinct species and it’s such a thrill when we see one… I found one dozing in a sheepskin wrapped up and stored in the ceiling, and when a neighbour accidentally trod on one, and his tail came off, and he thought he’d damaged an eye, the tiny creature was rushed to Auckland Zoo, hours away, and nursed back to health over three weeks. When she returned a group of us met to celebrate and watch her being returned to the forest… and we then celebrated with wine and cheese of course !!!
What a lovely story and celebration! I believe I remember the piece you posted about returning the lizard to the wild. It is such a special feeling. I have nursed a couple of birds who flew into our windows, until they could fly again and it is magic. Thank you Valerie.