Don't shoot.

So I was thinking, it's only September but I can smell winter from here. Living in Minnesota you're never quite sure what's in store from October through March. That's six months of increasing cold, snow, ice, closures, cancellations, hazardous driving, and white white white everywhere. It reminds me of the winter of 2019 - there was so much snow and subzero temperatures and they literally seemed to never end. You know the saying - laugh or cry? I did both.

Following are two Facebook posts I shared during that time and how me, my mom, my sister, and our shared love of leopard print lightened winter up a bit.

Post 1) Unusual wildlife encounter: I’m sure the young man with an African accent felt very displaced to find his car stuck in 2 feet of snow, in a clogged roundabout, with subzero temps and gusting winds. Driving up to the intersection, my sister Kim and I saw it was drifted in and were about to turn when we noticed the driver in distress. Stopping my small SUV 20 yards back, trudging and awkwardly leaping through the knee-high stiffening drifts, my sister Kim and I wave our arms to signal and pantomime we would "push". For the record, I'm 57 years old and Kim is 65 when we assume the push position behind his spinning tires. After a couple unsuccessful tries Kim yells above the wind “he doesn’t know how to rock”, and I have to agree. So I open the driver’s door and motion for him to get out- I’ll drive.

This unsuspecting man in a unfortunate situation isn’t dressed Minnesota warm but there's no time to educate him - he'll understand soon enough. As I open the driver's door I yell over the blizzard conditions that he needs to get out and push while I drive. Without hesitation he trustingly lets me get behind the wheel, my sister waves him over to her, and as I hit the gas, shifting between reverse and drive, Kim tries to explain and demonstrate to him the fine art of rocking a stuck car.

10 times forward/back does the trick as his car and I launch out of the drift and I bring it to a skidding stop up ahead. We took time for his quick but gracious “thank you”, and my quick but sincere “stay warm”, followed by an awkward high-five to wrap up the blustery encounter.

As we drove away, and continually throughout the day, Kim and I get the giggles thinking of what went through the stranger from a strange land's mind when in his rear view mirror appeared...

Two sturdy, determined and disheveled Midwestern red-heads; one wearing a leopard-print fur coat and the other a fuzzy leopard-print hooded scarf, galloping through the drifts and swirling snow, arms over head, descending upon him with unknown intentions.

Welcome to Moorhead, MN - natural habitat of the helpful, red-headed, leopard print bipeds.

Post 2) Once I find her house, Mom and I are going grocery shopping this afternoon. If we wander off course, let the search party know we'll predictably have on our totally rad, matching/not matching leopard/not real leopard coats.

Any displaced hunters gone mad with cabin fever - don't shoot. We're out of season.

I love animals, synchronicity, symbolism, and energy. So of course, I looked up the Leopard Totem and message:

Leopard is reminding you that there is always a period of rebirth after a period of radical change. Thus this spirit animal is the healer of deep wounds. Leopard meaning will bring old issues to resolution through the reclaiming of your lost power during the time of the wounding. This big cat is reminding you that you have many resources available to you and that these resources can be physical, mental, psychic, emotional, and spiritual.

In hindsight, the spring of 2019 would deliver me to metaphysical challenge some call

a Dark Night of the Soul and the fall of 2019 would usher me to the other side.

The Universe/God/Source/Higher Self in all it's mystery and wonders is always supporting and communicating with us.

Do you have an example of such an experience, be it small or monumental? I'd love to hear it! ~ Kay


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Kay Hilde

Born, raised, and living in Moorhead, MN, USA, Kay is an entreprenuerial, high spirited soul of many interests and endless curiousity.

Any day you may find her

coaching proactive wellness, leading creative workshops, illustrating, painting, or now - writing her next blog post.

Kay loves to spend time with her two kids, two grandsons, two grandpups, friends, family, feeding the birds, advocating for animals, and learning all she can about the mysteries of the universe and finding the joy and humor in all of the above.