Wandering down a little trail to see where it might lead on our #NatureDoodlewash hike, I’ve come across this little snail. I find these tiny creatures quite beautiful, mostly because of their often fabulous shells. Playing with the other kids in the neighborhood as a child, we’d be so excited to see snails. We would more often find slugs, though, which are remarkably similar, but are the naked and homeless version of snails. They’re kind of gross and slimy, and lose much of the appeal the shell brings.
That said, even with a home, snails are a bit slimy as well. But, there have been studies that have found that snail mucus could be useful as a way to heal wounds. One has to consider just how badly one is wounded before actually trying this, of course. The Mesoamerican civilization considered snails to be a symbol of rebirth and joy. They believed the circular shape of the shell was a representation of the circle of life. So from symbology to the actual slime itself, it seems the snail only has positive things to offer. The can even be a food source if you like that sort of thing. But the most fascinating thing as a kid was pausing long enough to actually see one move.
Snails are notoriously slow, moving at speeds of only 0.06 miles per hour (0.1 km/h). We would sit and watch them make their journey without even realizing that we’d paused for the first time day. Little else could slow a group of kids like us down, but watching the snails travel their slow motion journey always did the trick. I wonder if I could it today? Shut out the world’s distractions long enough to see this little creature make its way across my path. But there’s just never enough time for that, right? Today, it feels impossible to waste so much valuable time, sitting still long enough to really watch that little snail on the trail.
Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month!