Throughout the summer and fall so far, we’ve had an unusually large amount of ants this year. They’ve come in the kitchen, in the bathrooms, the living room, the front yard, the back yard. . . they are everywhere. There has been an especially pesky mound of ant dirt around a giant four-foot pot on our back porch.
I’ve ‘killed’ them several times and they keep coming back for more.
This past week, I noticed they were back, but with a vengeance. The entire pot looked like it was no longer sitting on the red brick. It looked like we’d planted it right on top of black dirt. As I looked closer, that black dirt was all moving. When I leaned down, my eyes caught the top of the pot and it took me back. What appeared to be the black potting soil inside the pot was actually thousands of crawling ants. As ants do, they were all moving in what appeared to be such an orderly fashion. They were carrying food and marching in lines.
They were one GIANT community, all working together to bring life to the colony.
Quickly, I grabbed the magic ant-killing powder and proceeded to empty the entire container all over the crawling ants. (This could have been a great entry on America’s Funniest Home Videos as I almost passed out several times in the process, because I refuse to breathe while handling that terrible poison!) Once every ounce of dirt was covered in white, I looked at the ants more closely. I was fascinated by their reaction.
They knew there was a threat.
But apparently these brilliant colonies of ants that work so well together, don’t have an emergency evacuation plan. They went scurrying about. Some of them dying on the spot, others scrambling for footing heading out to the grass and still others, covered in white powder, disappearing under the dirt ~ which is exactly what I was hoping for, to take that white poison back to their home. Slowly but surely the activity slowed and when I came back to check, there was no movement. The ants were dead.
Then it occurred to me:
These ants, all living and working together have the power to bring life . . . or death to their community.
They can lead each other to food. They can work together to make shelter. Or, they can get caught in the poison and bring it into the community, causing certain death for all.
You have that same kind of power.
You can go out into the world and accidentally get some of the poison on your back, only to realize you don’t have a good poison-control plan in place, and bring that poison right into your community. You can bring it back to your co-workers, your neighbors, your friends and your family.
Or you can pay attention.
You can recognize the threat and steer clear of the poison. You can read good books, buy good food, listen to good music, do good work, choose to speak words of life and choose to only be in community with others who do the same. And when the poison gets on you anyway, you can have your back-up plan on the ready. Choose to shake off the dust and refill your mind and body with good things. Tell others what you’re going through so they can walk with you while you’re getting healthy again.
You may not always be able to avoid poison, but you have the power to decide what you’re going to do about it.
Choose to bring life.
Everything is at stake.
to more love,