I was at my altar outside and a slug showed himself to me in my garden. He was moving so slowly and she (note the switched gender pronoun and upcoming gender-neutral pronouns – slugs are hermaphrodites, so, along with all plants, they are essentially intersex and/or genderless) elongated as I watched her. As I studied hir body, I realized that slugs do not have eyes. They only have feelers. So they reach out their feelers and sense. If they feel safe, they stretch out. They can even lift part of their body so part of it is in contact with the earth or whatever they are crawling on, and part suspended. Like a snake. And there is no weight in the part suspended up.
It is almost as though Slug is not a solid but a liquid, or some sort of otherworld material. Watching Slug move is like watching magic form, or life form itself out of wet ground. Its body is fluid, and reflects the soft undulating energy of the earth’s relaxed state. You will never see Slug in a chaotic, fast-paced scenario. If for some reason Slug encounters an even remotely aggressive or quick motion, it will contract and shorten greatly.
Slug can go from a centimeter or inch up to many inches, almost a foot (or maybe more!) depending on its size. If you settle down and observe Slug you will find that when it contracts, it seems to actually decrease in size, and when it elongates, somehow it grows visual volume. Slug even leaves a trail of liquid in its path that comes from the bottom of its body – where does the Slug and its state-of-matter-defying body come from? It seems to come from a realm in between. Perhaps Slug appears when we are so in tune with the natural flow of our surroundings that we can see the more subtle motions of movement that happen all the time around us anyway. Like watching water boil or paint dry, but with a natural, conscious grace and fascination instead of boredom. It may sound boring, but by just being in one spot and just slowly shifting along, you can reach great states of peace, presence, and stillness that can and will allow you to reset at where you are at in your life. From there, you can find a deeper appreciation, a deeper breath, and a deeper stretch as you embrace life, trusting your feelings, as they are all you can ever really have!
On the subject of breath, take a look at Slug’s lung, or rather, the pneumostome, or respiratory pore, that leads to the lung, that you can watch expand and contract like a fish’s gills. This teaches us the very vulnerability of our own lungs, which might as well be outside of our body, as they in fact exchange the internal and external with every breath. The rest of us can be still and just glide. It’s our lungs that are the most profound movement.
If you come into contact with Slug, it wants to teach you something. It teaches us to be so slow and steady that we can embrace being where we are and not having much chance of getting very far. The Slug teaches true Presence. Once we accept our exact present condition, we can relax, and progress, and enjoy the ride, and truly take in life. If Slug does encounter a threat, zir can move pretty quickly and change course, but hir preference is always to slowly meander, extending feelers out in the dark, making way through the world silently and peacefully, oozing and leaving a trail to fertilize the ground and soil from which it manifests from. It doesn’t get much more down to earth than Slug.