I sat down this evening with the intention to write about the recent influx of pests in my garden. The past three or four days I have paid my potagerie very little attention, and now I’m paying the price. So I snapped a million photos of the insects that are thrashing my little speck of Eden and planned to share them and my attendant complaints about what each of them are doing to my personal happiness.
Maybe, I thought, I can share some worthwhile information about organic pest control. That’s the sugarcoating, my flimsy excuse to vent. Here’s the ugly truth: Maybe, I thought, I can scratch this itch of rage by whining and moaning for a while, in gushing abandon all over my innocent keyboard. If I tell everyone how pissed I am (about this and other things) then surely I’ll be happy again.
Just scripting in my head what to say about bugs and loss and organic methods felt incredibly negative and, ironically, poisonous. The more I walked around outside, dwelling on the problems crawling at my shins, the less I could see the beauty around me. I saw only grasshoppers and forgot to celebrate yellow squash, straight, bright, and perfect. I saw only an herb bed full of grass and failed to notice until a while later that Dulcinea was running down to the pond, back uphill, and down again, splashing in the mud just for the fun of it. I failed to notice how many flowers have made colorful progress this week, despite my inattention.
I cursed the mud on my bare feet instead of relishing the moisture.
Then I came inside, made a desperate cup of coffee for dinner instead of food (Handsome and I are not sharing meals today), and started downloading the garden photos. My mean spirit was ready to spew a bunch of complaints and possibly even some vulgarity to the internet, thinking foolishly that getting it all off my chest will make me feel better. Not even caring what it would do to you. Or my husband.
In those simmering, ugly moments I happened on this photo that I barely remember taking. The wild orange day lilies that flank my vegetable garden entrance are blooming heavily right now, and at this time of day when the sun hangs serenely over the pond, the most glorious light is cast over this scene.
|The combination of a decades-old rusted bike with trumpet vine and day lilies makes me feels so at home.
This is probably the only beautiful photo I took tonight. And seeing it took me completely by surprise. So I started meditating on a good bit of poetry or strong quote to pair with it.
Do you know what I found, almost immediately?
Exactly what our book club has been studying lately, and what I have been gleaning from other good sources too, in so many ways. The message is that combating my negative energy with more negative energy is futile. I have zero hope of vanquishing sadness and anger with complaints and cursing. That behavior will only make everything worse, for me and my loved ones. For Handsome. And dwelling on the weird things I fear is more likely to bring them to fruition rather than “prepare me for the worst,” as my brittle ego declares it will.
Obviously, tonight I am upset about far more important things than just garden insects. My heart has been dry and heavy. I was consumed with worry and shame, emptiness and just good old fashioned sadness. And I have felt weak, selfish, angry, sorry, rejected, indignant, and powerless to combat it this time. Tempted to shut everything down externally and just quit trying to be positive. Quit trying to matter and be so annoyingly buoyant. It’s exhausting. And lonely.
So the insects are kind of catching my wrath right now. Deservedly, I guess, because as small as they are they have the power to destroy my Eden. If I allow them to.
I have a grip now. I remember that light is constantly available, and it is our strength.
Light is in abundance, too. It’s not a limited commodity. Darkness is powerless against it, so let it in whenever you have a choice. Which is every moment of your life.
Thanks for listening, I hope I didn’t inject a bunch of sadness into your world.
And if you happen to have any organic gardening tips, send ’em my way! Find this blog on Facebook and post, post, post those ideas. I have a murderous week ahead of me.
To my husband, if you read, this, I love you. To my children, if you read this, I love you.
To my book club girls, thank you.