(Photo: Nick Ta/Flickr)
After a light breakfast, I headed outside to sit in on the porch chair embracing my morning coffee. It was a beautiful morning with blue skies and sun. A cool breeze blew past me as I looked out into the garden and watched the hawk above me soar.
My husband works in the garden more than I, but I’m the detail gal. I usually go around picking big weeds, tackling thistles, and directing him on what needs attention. It’s sometimes an overwhelming task, and that is why I would love to watch the hawk more than tackling the weeds. This morning was one of those mornings where I realized that I neglected my duties.
Recently, we had a flood in our backyard, which violated our basement and our lives. The basement, 3 months later, is still under repair and our house is still disheveled. This is the ebb in life most of us know.
I took a walk in the garden and noticed all the thistle, weeds, and rotting wood. I notice how our porch and the gutters needed replacement, and how even the evergreens were losing their green. Generally, the flood disaster took our attention away from other things.
I could retreat and go inside and wait for the winter cover, but instead, I decided to place myself in the middle of nature’s encroachment. I started out in the garden where our newly planted trees existed, stuck in the dry soil and how they desperately needed water. I pulled, what seemed to be endless weeds out, while I pondered about my next business venture. Nature does this to me. It brings me back down to earth for the purpose of realizing my gifts. It makes me notice things. Nature also helped me write this blog.
Learning the hard way, I found the easy way to get a thistle bush expelled from our garden. Clippers. But this lesson did not come without a hair and clothing disaster. Thistle really likes me and I understood how and why it was there. While I may not like how it affected me in that present moment, I do understand how it survives against all odds. I was covered in thistle, but that wouldn’t stop me from conquering the garden, or so I thought.
Things were going well. My squat-inspired sweat was relieved by nature’s breeze. After getting rid of the thistle, I was not about to stop. My success of the current situation, lead me to head over to another area of the garden. It was a bit overwhelming, but I thought, “I’ll tackle part of the garden.” About one-third of the way through, I sat down and received a message.
The message came in the way of a question. “If someone asked you today, what do you do for a living, what would you say?” I spontaneously replied, “Nothing.” This got me thinking. It would be nice not to have to do anything, and wake up and decide that day what I wanted to do. What if I had no monetary needs?
I think that moment was a time to break from what I was doing, and go inside the house and inside my self. But I didn’t listen to that gut feeling.
I began to tackle some more thistle plant. I noticed a rotted stump that sat underneath the fungal-infected evergreen and thought, “That needs to go.” Little did I know that it was a ‘bone of contention’ for something that was small, yet its meaning was much greater than I.
Just then, I heard the sound of a very mad wasp and his friend, and his other friend, and so on, buzzing around my head. The buzzing made me realize that it was time to run. All I could think was, “Run Lesley, Run!!!!” One hundred yards later, as I ran towards my son and husband, I thought I had lost the angry crowd. My husband and son encouraged me to keep running. You have to know that my circumstance was not something they wanted to experience.
What I didn’t realize is that one of the wasp’s friends had made his way up my sleeve. I released him, but not without a misunderstanding. That misunderstanding had rendered my arm inoperable from wrist to elbow.
It was my husband’s quick thinking that led me to tackle damage control, but this was not without embarrassment. As I was stripped down in the garage with my thistle-covered clothing, we made sure that no other wasps were there to tell me their point of view. I was handed a blanket and sent to the shower, and on my way up to the Damage Control Center, I snickered.
After a Benadryl binge, I proceeded to meticulously pick out thistle and manage my red bumps in a warm shower. As I still had some strength, I made time to tell you this story.
In the aftermath, as I picked thistle out of my hair and clothing, I realized my lessons and some rules of engagement. It’s not that nature hadn’t taught me lessons prior to this conflict. It’s just that I wasn’t implementing these teachings.
Nature surrounds you and grounds you.
You and your living are in the present moment.
You can’t conquer a path unless you ponder the steps needed.
A goal is not achieved overnight.
Always ask permission to enter dark spaces.
Not everyone or everything understands you, so be at peace.
Find the humor in disaster and learn from it.
I’m sure there will be more to ponder after I post this blog. I hope you enjoyed the story and can understand the wisdom of nature. I embrace my wounds and persevere, for this life is too short to be angry at a wasp. Wasps are just trying to survive just like me.
Lesley Wexler, heartabove.net