Shedding Skin

A snake will shed its skin regularly over its entire life because it is constantly growing and gets too big for its own skin.  It is vulnerable during the shedding process because the eye covering gets cloudy and it cannot see very well. Its color is particularly gorgeous just after the shedding, very vibrant and fresh.  The skin can be shed in pieces, which is how I have often found it in the past.  The shedding can happen relatively easily and quickly or the snake may have to struggle and rub against rocks and vegetation to help pull it off.  It starts at the head and the skin turns inside out as it peels back.


A few days ago I found a totally intact snake skin on the morning walk.  I have not found one WHOLE before.  I have not been able to write about it, feeling over the last month much like the snake about to shed; can’t see too clearly, feeling vulnerable, totally unsure of what I am supposed to do/be next, struggling and feeling abraded by everything around me, growing into some unknown.  Furthermore, I am talking to a lot of people that are feeling the same way.  Maybe it is our age, but we’ve shed our old roles/personas and don’t know what is next, a particularly difficult place for a planner-by-trade to be…or I forgot, I am shedding that role…!  As my friend said yesterday, “it feels as though someone is peeling my skin off” and that someone is me.  How do we hold the void so that the most vibrant and fresh can emerge, be more like the snake that shed this skin in one WHOLE piece with apparent ease?


Hoping the metaphor of this snake may ease whatever process you might be in!

it starts here with the head, inside out…

what is shed is beautiful and luminous too!

check out the s t r e t c h i n g on the belly scales

and the view through the snakes eye

Comment on Shedding Skin

What a perfect post for our recent move. Still unpacking from moving from one place to another in Oakville. Feel like I’ve shed my skin, but then oh, there’s the poop! Sewer backing up twice now. Your posts are all about renewal and poop. Maybe it’s a sign. It’s all good, all through the poop.

lesson from deep in forest

Deep down in the trees you get a clear sense of how fast the sun moves across the sky.  That fern I saw all lit up and sparkling 5 minutes ago is lost in the shadow now.  I move my solar electric (PV) panel around the camp all day to harvest the solar energy.  I need to move it every 10-15 minutes or it ends up in the shade.  If these trees are 80 feet deep and the sun moves a degree every 4 minutes, that means in five minutes the sun has moved out of a 16” gap between branches/leaves.  That is fast.


I like having limited electricity.  It helps me really identify what is important and appreciate that I ‘normally’ have all of these things without having to even think about it.  Lights for extending the daylight hours, running water and in particular hot running water, and a small refrigerator to preserve some simple fresh foods.


I am deep in golden aspen now and deep in appreciation for them and their fluttering sound and beauty.  Did you know that the largest living organism on the planet is an aspen (a grove of aspen is often a single organism, all connected in the roots and just sending our shoots to the sun above) in Utah? 106 acres big and thousands of years old. Here is a link to some fascinating information about this including the fact that it is in trouble: