Musings: The Wisdom of Wild Snails (Post #1,000!)

For this momentous post, I decided that I would focus on a creature that is often maligned (mostly by gardeners), but that I find immensely fascinating. It’s an animal that reminds me of two important things: that (1) there is an absolutely amazing world of tiny plants, animals, and other matter that is overlooked by people and (2) sometimes, we need to slow down and enjoy the wonders of the world around us – or even our own inner world – at a snail’s pace.

I found these miniature snails on the garage door, which I knew would be in full sun later in the day, so I moved them a short distance away to a wetter and shadier location. These little snails were dropping off the garage door onto the concrete below, where they were difficult to see (and all too easy to carelessly smash).

As I held them in my hand, I saw how spectacularly acrobatic they were, turning themselves back upright in a smooth, muscular motion, and then I marveled at how fast they moved. Despite the stereotypes about gastropods being extremely slow, these snails moved.

Speed demons!

The suppleness of the snails, their single-minded drive to get to whatever mysterious destination awaited them (a party for Gaston, perhaps?), was enchanting. They invited me to embrace a perspective of rolling with whatever comes my way (righting my “shell”), and always moving forward. I also wouldn’t mind being able to do perform some of those contortions they make look easy, but I suspect that my skeletal structure would be an obstacle. Nonetheless, flexibility is also important, both physically and mentally – so also a worthy goal.

Looking back on the past posts and the years they span, I realize that it’s been a journey full of surprises, horizon-broadening experiences, hard lessons learned, and moments of sheer delight…as well as deepest sorrow. I have grown and evolved as a writer, and for that, I am grateful and proud. I’ve become a pretty good homesteader, farmer, and photographer, skills which serve me well in my daily life and also help me be creative and provide plenty of opportunities for problem-solving.

At this juncture, I think I can say that I am a more grounded and peaceful person than I was when I started. I have learned to take the time to see and appreciate the “little things”; I have made new friends and make an effort to nurture those relationships; after years spent contemplating moving forward with my education, I have taken hold of an opportunity to do so (with the much-appreciated support of Mr. fMf).

I am the snail, resolutely righting myself, getting my bearings, and moving ahead. I don’t need to do it at breakneck speed anymore, causing myself stress because others were moving too slowly around me – I just need to keep forging ahead. And so I shall.

Thanks for joining us on our blogging journey! Though I have less time these days to post, I appreciate each and every reader, and will continue to muse, write poetry, cook, ferment, and do the many activities that take place here on the farm. I hope you’ll be with us for the next 1,000 posts!