I don’t want to live in the city (though I like to live near it). I’ve chosen Topanga because it’s not full of shopping malls and chlorinated swimming pools and neatly trimmed shrubs and regular visits from the pest control guy. There’s no Starbucks here. Not one.
I like me a bit of wildness. A jungoidal garden. Coyotes howling at the moon. Waking to birdsong not traffic noise.
But it’s not all butterflies and hummingbirds and double rainbows (so intense) out here. Sometimes it’s venomous snakes.
I’m no Steve Irwin: I’m not going to wrestle a python. But I’m happy to co-exist with the natives who belong in these mountains too.
So I’m grateful to this young rattler, camouflaged in the shadows across my narrow trail, for reminding me that I’m part of an ecosystem.
And further: for reminding me to pay attention. To watch where I put my feet. To be present, here and now.
Or I might step on something I’d much prefer not to.