By Sheri Kramer, Minnesota

Some years ago, I was having one of those days where I felt particularly sad and lonely. Rather than stay home and sulk, I opted to spend some time at a nearby nature preserve. As I drove there, I asked the Mahanta, the inner presence I can always count on, to help me feel less lonely.

Not long after starting my walk, I noticed a snake in my path, curled into the shape of a heart. I like cats and dogs and other familiar creatures well enough. But I also have an affinity with less universally loved creatures such as spiders and, yes, snakes.

So, coming upon a heart-shaped snake immediately lifted my spirits, and I decided to take a picture. Because the camera on my phone had a very short focal length, I had to get closer and closer to the snake. I worried that if I got too close, it would simply slither away.

Instead, this beautiful being looked up at me, as if to tell me, “I’ve been waiting for you. You are loved. You are not alone.”

It never ceases to amaze me that when I ask for help and I’m open to receiving it, Spirit will show Its love in the most wonderful ways.

Adapted from “A Gift from a Snake,” 2019 Eckankar Journal

—Photo by Sheri Kramer