The condominium complex, I have called home for the last four years has been alive with activity this month. Each of the tiny houses connected like random strings of dominoes will soon sport a brand new roof and a fresh coat of paint. The safety of the roofers and painters necessitated the wasp nests that populate my second story balcony be removed.
I was ecstatic when I learned this because lately I have been unable to enjoy the little sanctuary that abuts my bedroom. This quiet nook provides a private view of the greenbelt behind my home. I have watched the moon rise and the sun set whilst enjoying a good book and a cup of tea. Sometimes, I watch the squirrels as they race about doing whatever squirrels do. Up one tree and down another, I am mesmerized their busyness. Occasionally, I have seen a careful doe stroll quietly along the sometimes creek and watched as she leans her long neck toward the water filling her thirsty belly. Then she stretches toward low lying branches and grazes heartily. Eventually, she motions to her fawn who is still in spot and playful like a child. They move on.
Unfortunately, fearing the fury of wasps disturbed in their nests and the excruciating pain they can inflict when angry stinger meets skin, I have avoided my grown up tree house. Yesterday evening, however, as I changed from my work clothes, I noticed the wasps were magically gone, exterminated and dangerous no more. Their empty nests lay on the ground, discarded and benign. So, I slipped under my covers and rested my head on the pillow eagerly anticipating the morning, hot tea on my lips and pages of a new bestseller devoured.
But when the sun peeked through my ivory lace curtains this morning, and I took in the view, I noticed much to my distress, a brand new nest. A determined queen, I suppose, and her obedient workers had inhabited the copper wind chime hanging from the eave above the railing. The queen had already attached her paper umbrella to the base. A new generation of her offspring were working furiously to create another home. Strangely identical concave circles were being created and a nest was being constructed before my eyes. From the edge of my bed, I stared, open mouthed, intrigued by the persistence of these evil creatures. They had done this on purpose! Denying me my little piece of heavenly real estate, my moment of peace and quiet.
Isn’t that the way though with most things dangerous, most things painful, most things scary? Be it creature, feeling or object, we can exterminate those things temporarily from our minds, our lives, even our surroundings but they always find a way to return. Sometimes, they come back in the least likely of places, under difficult circumstances and when we are not looking. They may be unfortunate, unwanted, even unnoticed but the wasp nests in our lives exist and so we must be ever vigilante. We need to look and listen. We need to pay attention and recognize them for what they are. And we need to persist as much as they do.
“The thief comes only to steal and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”