A good deal of Sunday was spent cleaning the terrarium where my wonderful snake, Artemis, dwells. It is a big terrarium which sits on the big dresser in my bedroom. She is a corn snake, orange with red blotches outlined in black. And she’s actually taller than I am, probably close to 6 feet long, measuring from her sheds.
We had quite a conversation about all this over the 2 or 3 previous days. I was telling her what was going to happen, how she would spend the afternoon laying on my pillow, inside a pillowcase. And that after I removed everything from the terrarium (heater, water bowl, cave, hammock and big driftwood climber), I would wash it all. And then empty out the sand (which I put in the garden to improve the soil), wash the entire terrarium itself, let it dry and reverse the process.
The outcome – a happy one for her – would be that her fresh new digs would be totally fresh and clean smelling. Everything would feel good, smell good and be good. So she remained totally calm going from being wrapped up in her hammock to being slid into the pillowcase, was quiet and peaceful all afternoon, and then slid gently back into her home mid-evening.
Her wonderful piece of driftwood was not quite dry, and wouldn’t be going back in til this morning. She clearly did not like that, because she wanted to check out the freshly washed hammock, and kept trying to figure out how to get up there.
So I looked around, saw the big fat Buddha on the floor next to the piano, and knew he would be perfectly content with Artemis. I plunked him into the terrarium – she was delighted and spent several minutes checking him out, before climbing up to the hammock.
As she was climbing down, she pooped all over the fresh clean terrarium wall, and made a bigger mess in the sand than she has ever made! So much for my pride in getting that cleaning all done.
So now, the next evening, I have cleaned up the terrarium and the sand, put the driftwood back in its usual spot, and have even washed off Buddha. Right this minute, her dinner is thawing on top of the toaster oven, and she’ll be eating soon.
She goes with the flow (or, rather, goes while flowing. And I’m just relaxing into that Artemis rhythm, doing whatever has to be done in the moment.