Just Below the Surface…

We live in South Carolina.  That is not news, really.  South Carolina is a beautiful state, and here in the low country we have beautiful waterways and marshes that are set around our landscape.  Most housing areas contain at least one pond.  These ponds always come with a warning, “Alligators may live here.  No pets. No swimming.”   Seems logical, I think.

As I wrote before, the sign by the pond that is about 10 feet from the side of our house reads differently.  It says, “Do not feed the alligator.  Do not throw anything into pond.”  We didn’t notice this sign until AFTER we signed our lease.  Yes, I did learn my lesson…. look closer to your environs.  (Duh!)

The other night, dear hubby and I were eating our dinner.  The eat-in area of our kitchen has two windows, each facing a different view.  Hubby’s view is out towards the wooded area behind our house.  My view is the pond.  We sat eating and carrying on a conversation, it was a nice time.  During a break in conversation though, something caught my eye in the pond.  It was not one of the turtles frolicking around.  It was not one of the beautiful birds that stand by the ponds.  No, this creature had a big (and I mean big) smile.  His nose was pretty pointed and he was at least 5 feet long.  A gator!!!  Now, this is not the first alligator I have seen.  We had them visit our backyard in the other house a couple of times.  They are majestic creatures.

The difference, and this is a big one, is that the pond in the other house was at least 20 to 25 feet away from our house.  An alligator could come up to our yard in the former place and it was a safe distance to watch and admire.  I saw this guy’s eyes and his scales and I have to say, I was startled.

Being married to a big kid, my hubby immediately went out to look at this creature.  Fortunately, by time hubby made it outside our dear amphibian creature had gone underwater.  Hubby, like a true little boy, was disappointed.  He came back into the house, finished his dinner and questioned me over and over about where in the pond I saw this creature.

Now, we haven’t actually seen him again, but I have had it explained to me that these creatures feed (turtles are their favorite food) and then go to the bottom of the pond and wait until they are hungry again.  Although their brain is small, they are aware of everything going on outside of the pond and they wait and calculate  their attack.  So, the trick is to not do something at the same time every day, which fortunately, we don’t.

When I look outside now, I see the pond.  I see the birds around the water and I still see one or two turtles (we used to have several). It looks peaceful, calm.  Just below the surface, though, is danger.

How often in our daily lives is danger lurking just below the surface and we are not aware of it?  Yes, I can be startled and frightened of this big,   yet to be made handbag or shoes (I know, peta would not like that, it was an attempt at a joke…) .  I can avoid going outside and definitely avoid walking on that side of the house.  I even look out before heading to the porch and once on the porch I look under the cars (sort of  like checking under the bed for monsters before going to sleep).  But, the truth of it all is, there is danger everywhere, and we are just not aware of it.

I had posted on Facebook about the alligator and got several comments.  The best was from our dear friends out in San Diego.  He was joking about said alligator and how he was not scared at all about the gator in MY backyard.   My point about danger everywhere came back home late last night, when, not being able to sleep, I got up and went back online.  There, on my Facebook page was a picture from a friend who rents a room from my friend I just mentioned.  This picture was of a visitor in THEIR backyard.   It was a picture of  a rattlesnake.    Yes, danger is below the surface everywhere.

And, although Luke 10:19 says, “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”  (New Living Translation)  I will not purposely step on a snake (or scorpion).  I will, though, trust that I will be safe from the danger lurking just below the surface as I continue to trust and follow the Lord and use my common sense.

Thanks for stopping by today.  DAF


Published by marycatherinethomas

M. Catherine Thomas is a published writer, speaker and teacher. Mother of two and grandmother..

6 thoughts on “Just Below the Surface…

  1. Ahh, don’t get eaten okay? ;] Darren and I went to college in South Carolina (that’s where we met) but fortunately I never saw any gators. Two of my brothers live in Louisiana and I guess gators are a pretty common thing for them. Thanks for the good reminder to watch out for the dangers below the surface.

  2. I will try to not get eaten!! So cute! Thanks for stopping by… South Carolina is a great place to be, isn’t it? Nothing like New England, but it’s a close second… Thanks for stopping by. DAF

  3. Hahahaha! I am cracking up at your reaction…I would have been the same way. I was sweating when your hubby decided to go check it out….why? I am very curious, but not when it comes to live alligators. I swear you are right, the curious little boy never really leaves.

  4. he went out several times that night, flashlight in hand, it was terrible! Me yelling at him had no effect. I think the gator was more scared of me at that point. At our old place all the men would go together and try to find them, but then I figured the younger men would at least help my old ‘boy’ get to safety, here it is just me…

  5. I am also in the coastal SC area and I watch and photograph alligators quite often. They are remarkable creatures.
    Good advice though about not feeding alligators, that is a very bad idea for a variety of reasons.
    You never want to have an alligator associate people with food.
    Hope you get to see your local gator friend again. 🙂

  6. It would be hard to explain to him that I am a tough old bird and he wouldn’t be happy with me… I don’t know why the signs tell people not to feed the gators, seems like common sense to me… watch and admire from a safe distance, they are not pets, nor will they ever be. Bet your photos are great, they are fascinating creatures to look at.

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