Woke up abruptly at 3:00 a.m. with a mild stinging sensation on my chin. Didn’t want to turn on the light and wake Paul, so I brushed it aside. Went back to sleep. It came again, so I threw caution to the winds and turned on the light. There it was on the carpet –a small “creepy crawly critter” wandering toward the wall, a baby scorpion. I grabbed a nearby washcloth to pick it up and took it to the commode, where it swam away as I flushed it down the drain.

Why this visit? What is the deeper message from a creature such as this? Could it be because I had worked that day with a woman whose birth sign is Scorpio. Her issues were familiar…all about the future….mothering…careers….friendships…..relationships……typical women’s life issues yet very unique to her. Our session was delightful and her work was profound. So, what was the reason I still received the night visitor who stung my chin? The context was the anniversary of 9-11. My personal context was my healing from cataract surgery the week before.  I am exploring the meaning of this mystery.

At the physical level, I know we have a lot of scorpions here in central Texas. We have a scorpion sighting almost every day. They come out when it rains. Recently, I was told about the hatching of hundreds of baby scorpions in a light fixture at Ricket Ranch, where Anna, Kaye and John live. My friends in South Texas include two incredible young people who treasure spiders and scorpions and are making a successful business selling tarantulas and delivering lectures on the values of creepie, crawlie critters. You can follow their ingenious sustainability ideas on their website, notsocreepycritters.com.

I also remembered when our favorite astrologer Laurence Hillman visited, he found a very large scorpion in the bathroom and photographed it to take back to his daughter, who is also a Scorpio. So the physical connects to the cosmic in some way. Carl Jung always pointed out the serendipity, the synchronicity of our experiences and I have a good time going to the levels beyond the physical. It is fun to look for the deeper connection to whatever happens. So, what can I make of this little incident? It was a very brief encounter with a very small little scorpion…….

First, it was a baby. New life, young being, just beginning. Every moment is a new beginning. Daily, we start fresh. Even at age 81, I am daily renewed and every “now” moment is a moment to see through fresh eyes, hear through rejuvenated ears, and cleanse all the old judgments so that I am reborn.

Second, it did what came naturally. It reacted with its ability to sting when I tried to brush it aside. That sounds sort of familiar. I don’t always get the reaction I expect and I certainly am known to react with my own stinging words when I feel attacked or “brushed aside.”

Third, it woke me up. Paul and I both look daily at our various “wake-up” calls. We see the signs of our bodies aging and we know that we have a limited number of years to be on this earth plane in these bodies, so we are doing what we think necessary to be on-track with where we are on life’s journey at this stage. We recently updated our wills, creating powers of attorney and medical directives with the clear intention that our demise is not to be extended through any artificial mechanical or chemical means. We are getting the papers in order so that our children will be able to find them. Our model is that of our mothers who did their due diligence. Victoria, my mother, was so up to date in her worldly possessions and affairs that my brother and I did not even have to probate her will. Paul’s Mother, Cora, lived many years with no complaint in a home that I think was stultifying. Her patience with us as we neglected her and as she was subjected to daily routines that she did not particularly like (going to bed at 6 pm for the convenience of the staff and being awakened at 5 am was not the style of living she preferred.) I see our parents now through the circumstances of my own life. And, I am gaining deeper compassion for the valiant way they gave themselves to us.

Fourth, the lesson from the baby scorpion is still in progress. I am projecting myself into the little critter and imagining trying to get the attention I want. Just going about my life in my own natural way, doing what I know how to do, and reaching for the best I can imagine. Perhaps a wild ride down the toilet? Going with the flow?

And finally, the early morning interruption of my sleep allowed me to be fully awake with no real purpose, so I indulged in a TV movie. I thoroughly enjoyed watching “Prizzi’s Honor” with Jack Nicholson. Went back to bed with a smile on my face and felt the joy of life in its moment by moment unfolding. The real mystery is that here is there and then is now, and all just “is”…I am eternally grateful and in awe of our connectedness and the miracle of life on this planet.