Snake Goes Home

 

One day Sylvester the baby snake came home early and saw his mother was coming out of her skin. He was very scared and asked her mother what was happening.

His mother calmly said, "nothing my dear. I am simply shedding my skin."

"Shedding your skin? What is that?"

His mother replied, "when you grow a little older, you will find that your skin is too small for your body, and to continue with your growth, you will need to change your skin. So what you will do is open up your skin and let the bigger Sylvester inside you slip out of your older and smaller skin. This is called shedding your skin."

Sylvester was satisfied with the answer, but he was somewhat anxious, because he had never shed his skin and did not know how it would feel.

About three months later, Sylvester had grown considerably and his skin felt very tight. He felt as if his skin was compressing his body and holding him back. Until one day, his old skin opened up, and the Sylvester that was inside that skin simply slipped out. It felt so good. He felt he was free to move without feeling cramped by his old skin. When he finished shedding his skin, he looked at the old skin that he had come out of, and with a grateful smile, left it behind.

The following week, after experiencing the freedom and spaciousness of his new body, he went to his mother to ask some more questions. He said, "mom, how many times do we shed our skin?"

His mother replied, "well, that all varies from one snake to another. It all depends on how fast you grow, how long you live and all those other things. You see, I have been shedding my skin once every year, sometimes more, sometimes less. But when I was younger, because I was growing faster, I would shed my skin once every nine months."

Sylvester then added, "and do you continue this forever?"

His mother said, "every time you shed your skin, you let the Sylvester that is inside you to come out. And every time, the Sylvester that comes out is bigger, better, and wiser than the old Sylvester. For example, if you look at grandpa, he must have shed his skin at least a dozen times that I remember, or perhaps even more. And that is why he is so gentle and kind and wise.

"But eventually comes a time that when grandpa sheds his skin, the grandpa that comes out will be the invisible grandpa. And the invisible grandpa will leave his skin behind in his old home here, and go to his new home."

Sylvester was intrigued, "what is this invisible grandpa? Is there an invisible Sylvester inside me? Where does the invisible grandpa go after it comes out?"

His mother said, "there is an invisible part inside every one of us. There is an invisible grandpa, and invisible mom, and an invisible Sylvester. When all the visible Sylvesters come out, then the only Sylvester left to come out is the invisible Sylvester. Just like when all the visible grandpas have come out, the next time grandpa wants to shed his skin, the invisible grandpa will come out.

"This invisible grandpa carries all the experiences, thoughts, and memories that grandpa has had in his visible form. But perhaps more important than that, it also carries all the choices that he has made during the visible part of his life.

"When it finally comes out of his last visible skin, it tries to go to its home in the invisible land. We don’t see that invisible land because we still have our visible bodies and visible skins. But when finally the invisible part inside of us comes out, it tries to find its way to the invisible land, where it has its home."

Sylvester asked, "how can it find its way home?"

"The way it finds its way home depends on certain things. But it mainly depends on the good choices it has made in its visible skin. If, when it was in its visible skin, it made good choices, it will see its way clearly, and very quickly it will find its way to its invisible home. And that home feels like it is a place of light and singing and joy.

"If on the other hand, when it was in its visible skin, it was making the wrong choices, it would have difficulty seeing and finding its way home. It will feel as if it is lost in the middle of the dessert and is looking for its home, but the winds are constantly blowing and moving the desert sand. So it keeps going round and round, going to and fro, and have a lot of trouble finding its home. It will feel lost and separated from all that light and singing and joy."

"Boy oh boy," exclaimed Sylvester. "Then it is very important to make good choices in my new visible skin."

"Oh yes…" replied his mother. "And the way you do that is by using your Good Mind, by consulting with the invisible Sylvester inside you, before you make any decisions, so that you will choose wisely."

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver Canada
August 13, 1998


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