a little over a week ago i first noticed them. ants. tiny, eager, happy ants parading across my living room floor with crumbs of food held high. it was like a festival of snack foods. no doubt they had located bits and pieces the pea and bean had deposited around my home as they eat on the go. i am simply not gifted at enforcing the whole eat at the table thing. go figure.
so the ants came in. it was raining that day and it had been raining for several days. after thinking about why on earth i had ants in my house in late february i decided they had woken up (do ants hibernate?) in the warmer weather we had and then been forced by the pouring rain that went on for four days to seek drier ground – my home. i can imagine they were pleased with the pot of gold crumbs they discovered and so they called their friends and soon it was an antapalooza.
i stayed calm. i quietly told them i didn’t want them in my home. then, i started my attack which alternates between vacuuming them up and spraying them with a vinegar/water/tea tree oil cleaner i had mixed up and on hand. it really is not my kind of fun.
after a few days with my new house guests i complained to victory. why do i have ants in my house? isn’t it the wrong season? can’t they just leave already?
hmmm, she asked me, have you talked to them yet?
talked to them? i replied. what do you think i am? some kind of freak?
that was about a week ago. the ants did seem to wane for a bit when the weather cleared up. then it turned cold and snowy and they returned with renewed interest. i honestly do not blame them. even though their presence has turned me into a person having a love affair with her dyson there seem to remain little bits of shredded cheese and teething biscuits hiding in the nooks and crannies i can’t see. the ants team up in groups of five or eight and hold them aloft as they march across my living room. one day i saw maybe fifteen trying dislodge a organic oat o from under the couch foot. they carry their booty to a spot in my floor where the wood floor boards seem to have separated enough to allow ant access. there they face the challenge of fitting the food through.
it is fascinating.
it is inspiring.
it is also making me nuts.
i don’t really want to house and feed the local ant community.
have i talked to them though?
have i asked if there is a message for me?
have i really sat down to explain other possible food sources and why i need them to leave my home?
sometimes i am all talk and no action.
sometimes i just dig my heels in and resist.
even right now i am thinking – i don’t want to talk to the ants and i don’t want to be writing about it on my blog and losing all the readers who just don’t want to hang with the crazy lady who talks to ants. i don’t want to.
could be fear.
what if i try to talk to them and it doesn’t work?
what if i don’t like what they say?
what if i think it goes well but i see no difference in the ant population in my home? will i feel like a hoax?
what if i share it here and people think i am some kind of freak?
yep, smells like fear to me.
so, can someone tell me when lent ends? this whole no fear is getting old.
ok ok ok.
it is my intention to speak with the ant who can speak for the ants who are in my home. hello ant friend. your people are coming into my home and i am not comfortable sharing my home with you. i want you to live in peace and i want to live peacefully with you. i want you to live outside my home where i feel that you belong, out in nature.
are you coming into my home for food?
do you know that i have been actively killing your people who have come into my home? i am sorry and i do not like to take life with my hands but i am not comfortable sharing my home with you. i will continue to try to kill the ants who come into my home. i define my home as this structure (showing image). if you want to live outside of this structure i welcome you and i will do nothing to harm you. i want to make it very clear that in this life i am the person in charge of caring for my home (show image) and part of caring for it means insisting that you leave.
our drive pushes us to seek out food for our colony. your home is providing food. we mean you no harm.
i understand that you mean me no harm. i am sorry again to be harming you. i must stand by asking you not to enter my home. if you feel like your colony is in danger of not surviving without the food in my home you can tell me and i can try to help you find an alternate food source.
your home has been the simplest and most abundant food source we have found recently.
i am sure. perhaps we could transition you out of my home. for a few days my children and i can provide you with some of the food you have been getting inside my home. we can leave it for you outside the home. during that time you can be searching for other food sources outside my home? any ants that enter my home will know from here on that i intend to move them out of my home and they may lose their life in the process.
spring is coming. we are coming alive and growing our colony in anticipation of spring. the energy of the earth is stirring and so we are stirring. we are sharing this earth with you. you can take the message of the creatures and plants of the earth moving with renewed energy as spring approaches from us. you may watch us work and tune yourself into the ways that energy is shifting and growing and waking up beneath the ground – where we live. you may use our movement to share this exciting time with your children. talk to them about what the creatures are doing. you wish in your climate that you got outside to see mother nature more often. you seek her teaching and you want to share her teachings with your children. we have in essence brought this natural teaching into your home. i accept your proposal to transition outside. i will share the information with my colony. you may still find some of us in your home – overcome by the drive of searching for available food to sustain us. i appreciate your warning of your intention to be rid of us and kill our physical bodies. death is part of life. death is a part of the life of small creatures in this system.
see us as friends and teachers. ask us with kindness to stay out. seek out the teachings we have to share with you and your family. offer gifts and kindness in return. watch our work with awe and reverence. you may do all these things and also ask us to leave. then come find us outside!
let our energy be contagious. feel the spring coming up through mother earth into your bones and enjoy the feeling of energy rising. of new ideas ready to be planted. the precursors to growing. let the coming of spring add joy to your day. you can do all this and still ask us to leave you see. we can share a message with you from spirit to spirit and still have our struggles with each other from species to species. i accept your peaceful spirit. i thank you taking the time to try to know mine.
thank you ant.
thank you victory.
thank you lent.
thank you me.
i still see some ants making their way around my floor. my heart feels completely different.
p.s. thanks to all who have asked questions over at my formspring.me it has been fun to take a moment here and there to answer them!