By Ray Johnston, Manager/Caretaker (2002-2005, 2006-2010)
In May 2009, I spent my birthday alone sitting with this rattlesnake. I had recently experienced a time of profound personal challenge and change.
As I looked at its nine to 10 buttons [rattles], I thought of the years I had lived at Meher Mount – essentially the same period of time as the snake.
My cat Yogi had found this snake earlier that morning. I had spent several hours filming and recording the rattling sounds for a CD and potential video of animals at Meher Mount.
SITTING WITH THE SNAKE
Afterwards, I spent some time sitting with the snake in my lap (with snake-proof gloves and taking other appropriate care safety-wise).
As I held it, I reflected on change, rebirth, and “shedding our skins.” The annual shedding of a snake’s skin was a profound metaphor for me, as I felt I was also shedding my skin.
This snake which is often thought of as a dangerous predator was to me a gift. Both of us were in harmony with the land at Meher Mount and protected, with no threat to or from either of us. I do not know whether it is alive now.
WILD CREATURES ARE THE ESSENCE OF MEHER MOUNT
These wild creatures will always reflect the essence of Meher Mount for me. Meher Mount is and was for me a place of transformation, safety and order. It also provided a daily opportunity to remember Meher Baba through nature.
The wild creatures living and depending on the nature of Meher Mount and my relationship with them will always remain one of my fondest memories.