I had to kill a snake the other day. I had to do it or it would have died slowly and painfully. It was on the bike path and I think someone had ridden over its head with their bicycle. When I walked up to it I noticed blood on the pavement that was coming from its mouth. I flipped it over to see if it would slither off into the grass and it just lay there on its side, flipping its tail.
Ugh. It’s tiny head was so – – – – – – – tiny. About half the size of the tip of my pinky finger. For some reason it made me think of my little girl kitten and how small and vulnerable she is. So I stomped on the snakes head to put it out of its misery. I felt horrible about it (I save bugs and stuff) but I couldn’t just leave it there to suffer. But then I wondered how it might feel if something stomped on my head. Crap! I even asked another walker what she thought about the situation, and she suggested I flick the snake into the grass (it was a smaller garden snake). I couldn’t DO THAT and just walk off as though the poor thing didn’t even exist. JEEZ.
So – what is it to be alive and human? I realized that I had power in that moment of killing the snake. I removed its life from its body. I thought about it before I did it. I considered the consequences (there really weren’t any except that I might get sent to hell). I wondered where the snake’s life went once it left its body. I hoped God and the snake weren’t pissed off with me for what I’d done. I envisioned it hiding under a warm leaf somewhere in snake heaven with water and crickets nearby and some other snakes for company.
What are we doing on this planet instead of another livable planet? Why me here? You know? It’s just all very odd. When I was drinking I couldn’t have cared less about such a question. Today, I care. And I’m glad I do. Caring and asking questions and hoping for the best and being curious feels good. Feeling good feels good.