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August 2000 Edition

This First Edition of Anecdotes
Is Dedicated to the Memory of
Ginny Goodrich
And the Wonderful Way She Knew Animals

A Language of Light

~ We have come to believe that to be free and secure (do they really go together?), we need to eliminate and control the "wild" - the unknown, or "otherness" in our homes. A huge millipede, nearly four inches long from antenna to tail, appeared in the bathrub, scurrying toward me as I turned on the shower. The fast movement toward me of a large creature I could not see well frightened me. The shower curtains, which are attached to a suspended oval pipe structure, were clipped shut, and I tore at the clips, in an effort to open the enclosure and leap out.

I didn't want him there but neither was I willing to harm him. Once there was no chance he was going to run up my naked, exposed body, I leaned down to see who this was. Never having seen such a creature, I was astounded to find that, up close, he was beautiful. Perhaps he, too, was seeking safety, trying to hide. The creature had flattened the body, curving along the lower rim of the tub, in a fascinating way. The best thing to do seemed to be to offer a jar, so he could climb in; and I could release him to the garden. He declined. As I stooped over, contemplating what to "do" with the creature, it started to blip white light from one end to the other, like an SOS, a plea to leave him alone. Nearby was a tiny fragment which appeared to be a leg, lost. If I forced him into the jar, maybe it would injure more. The creature was incredibly fragile, something I had not initially considered. There seemed to be no way to resolve the "stand-off" except give up the bath and let him go the way he wished, in his own time. The millipede had a subtle strip of color which made him quite beautiful; but he was ever more so, with the language of light he offered. Maybe it was a thanks; maybe a primaeval way of expressing a wish to live. Looking at him as himself, no longer a threat, but a fascinating presence, the fears left, and both the millipede and I were freed.

- Sue Holloway

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Getting a taste of God's creation as it should be!

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