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My first spring in Arizona was filled with natural surprises. Even as I miss a Midwest garden of daffodils, lilac and hydrangeas, I’m startled by the beauty and glory visible in a desert spring. While part of me has longed for a more familiar spring complete with Lenten roses, red buds, trillium, Carolina Bluebells, and peonies, I’ve discovered a different kind of spring. There are amazing blossoms and awakening wildlife too. 

For example, on March 1st, I met my first rattlesnake. 

A large male just out of hibernation and looking for a meal. He was snuggled between some border rocks and a planting along the sidewalk of my neighborhood. We startled one another – he gave me his rattle and I retreated across the street. In that moment I learned a valuable lesson about rattlesnakes. 

There are days when all the changes we go through bring us up short like that rattlesnake did me.

 Abruptly, we can see with clarity that something important is transpiring. Just when we thought we’d “adjusted” to new circumstances, an unexpected curve ball or in this case rattlesnake, gets our attention. Gets our attention fast. 

That rattlesnake offered me a desert wake-up call. 

I was walking in the early evening. At a time when it was rather warm. The warmest part of the day for early spring in the desert. Also, the time of day when snakes were able to bask in the sun and be moved by the warmth. I realized that I needed to start walking in the morning hours. Cooler temperatures, at least for a time, will perhaps keep the snakes in slow motion. They being animals whose bodies are influenced by the temperature of the air around them. At the present time, it’s still in the 50’s in the morning. So now, I’m out there walking first thing.

What life teaches

Nature and life experiences have a way of offering insights that help us move forward. Wake-up calls don’t have to be sudden encounters. They may look more like a slow awareness. A rising understanding of the change that you are amid. Life teaching you and I to consider something differently. To gain respect for the moment. To look more carefully. To notice. 

It is in the noticing that we get to ask ourselves questions. Am I in the “right” place doing what I feel called to do? Is there information that I’m receiving from my experiences (or in my case, as a person of faith, from God) that needs tending? What is that information inviting me to look at and consider? How can I lean in and be more aware of what’s unfolding right in front of me in this moment? 

Whether it’s a rattlesnake moment or more of a gentle nudge, there are opportunities to stay awake, consider, reflect and recalibrate. 

Our circumstances and the world around us offer encouragement and insight and wisdom we can draw from. What we do with this information is up to us. 

Having a coach to support, encourage, affirm your insights with good questions or hold you accountable is an excellent resource. Change is happening all around us. A coach can provide a good sounding board for sitting quietly alongside the joys and sorrows of change. 

Have you considered participating in coaching during your life transition? If so, reach out and schedule an initial conversation so that we may explore  how we might collaborate on your behalf. 


If this resonates with you, let’s chat!​

A watershed moments coach can come alongside your experience of grief and loss providing support, encouragement, education about the nature of grief and insight that can assist you as you mourn. Collaborating with a coach is an investment in finding your way forward after a significant life change.  Connect with us for a brief introductory conversation where we will explore whether we are a fit for your current grief needs.  Click here to schedule a no-charge, 20-minute conversation where we will learn more about one another.