The spiral of life
A young girl named Žaltys, she was 5 or maybe 6 years old, used to go to the cold wild river, where she was spending time on the edge of the forest. She was playful, wild and free. Child who doesn't care about manners. Whenever she ran to her sacred place, she immediately took off her clothes and jumped into freezing water, to calm her fire a bit. She took the world in with all her senses. She was as open and as sensitive as a human can be.senses. She was as open and as sensitive as a human can be.
When the girl cooled off a bit, she took a step into the wet fragrant forest. Always enjoyed feeling the cold mud under her feet, smelling wet air in her nostrils, touching the trees while climbing on them and seeing all the beauty of life around her. Grass snakes accompanied her many times as they were guardians of life and pleasure. This girl surely was full of life, light and warmth.
But one day Žaltys didn’t come. And the next day. And the day after that. The brown serpent queen with a white crown behind her ears called upon all grass snakes of the area for a meeting. All of them felt, something was wrong. It was as if somebody would take away some sunlight. It was getting a little bit darker day after day in the wetland. They knew something was happening to the light of life in their protegee and they cannot do nothing in the moment. So they called for Saule, the goddess of sun, light and health. They called for her to help.
Saule said: ‘’Now is the time to wait. Wait until her spark of life starts to grow bigger in a desire to create a new life. What you need to do in the meantime is to grow in number, to reproduce. You need to have enough strength to lit on the sun in her belly, when the time comes.’’
In the meantime Žaltys was going to school, being a good girl, dressed properly, behaving as she should. Away from the wetland, away from feelings of life in her. She almost forgot about her times in the forest beside the wild river. About life and pleasure she felt there. One day after school, while she was walking in her new forest in the city, she almost stepped onto a big snake. She got so scared that she ran through the forest back home, shaking in fear of a snake, in fear for her life.
The grass snakes started to worry. Did she totally forget about the times she used to spend with them? Did she forget about her essence? But they trusted their goddess Saule, so they waited and were multiplying their numbers in the meantime. Men were trying to extinct the snakes away from the earth as they were nor comfortable with the pure light and life they are bringing. But unknowingly they were helping them to breed faster in dung heaps created by men’s stock grazing on meadows.
Žaltys was growing up fast. When her sexuality was awakening, snakes started to do their magic, so she would really feel the tingling in her body. But the teenage girl was too shaped by society to just let it be. She did everything to not feel the feelings. Drinking, smoking, working more, worrying, alienating from her feeling body. She did it easily during the day.
But the nights … oh, at nights snakes visited here more and more. She was running from them, hiding, locking herself in cages, when they were approaching here in night dreams. She couldn’t escape the snakes nor the emotions arising in her body. Young woman was more and more afraid of going to sleep at night as her scary dreams didn’t want to leave her alone. But grass snakes started to emerge during the days too. She was not sure if it’s only her imagination, but she was seeing snakes in every piece of nature she visited.
Žaltys was still living her ordinary life, alienated from herself and her feelings, but there was strong emotion rising up in her. It was fear. The more she got afraid, the more this scary creatures were emerging in her life.
One summer morning, when she was crossing the green meadow after the rainy night, she felt their presence. As the girl looked up, she saw these brownish green snakes with white crowns appearing from the forest. She started to walk faster. The faster she walked, the more snakes were approaching her. Before she realized, they formed a spiral around here. Žaltis was trying to escape out of it in the circular path they formed. Her fear was growing. The spiral of snakes was growing with it. Getting out of it seemed hopeless.
Her fear grew so big that she couldn’t take it anymore. She fell on her knees and cried out loudly in fear and despair. She gave up and surrendered.
At that moment grass snakes from all over the place started to slide toward the woman, circling around her. Sliding on her body.
Suddenly she started to feel all the sensations of human body at ones. Enjoying their pain and pleasure. In that exact moment the spark in here belly exploded in radiating light and the new life emerged.
Story of Urša Plešnar, from the project Loving the wetland.
You can find an e-book about storytelling from this project here.