Purging the Pests from our Creative Lives

My husband and I have finally won our war with the squirrels. Over three weeks and $300 later, the poisonous pellets and squirrel trap have worked (Justin actually trapped over 40). I returned from my writing retreat to see roses blooming, strawberries ripening, and tomatoes hanging from the vine.

Yet before I left for that glorious week in the Rocky Mountains, I wondered whether we had encountered our own little plague. The infestations of critters and insects had escalated. Wasp nests hung from the rafters like plums on trees. We couldn’t go outside without them buzzing around our bodies. Ants crawled all over the kitchen counters and through the drawers. Flies dive-bombed my head while I cooked.

I whined to my husband, “What’s going on? This feels like the Israelites in the land of Egypt.”

Determined to defeat our foes, we set out ant bait in hopes worker ants would bring the poison back to their nest and kill the queen. Justin sprayed and knocked down wasp nests. We even bought a feeding station to dispense poisonous squirrel pellets and he trapped and trapped and trapped some more.

So you can imagine what a wonderful site it was to return to blooms and silence. No longer do I hear the incessant squirrel chirping as they sit on the wall and belch, bellies full of my foliage.

Today as I savor my silent victory, I muse over what I learned from this war against nature. I can draw several parallels to the development of my creative life. Sometimes moving forward means eradicating pests that devour my fruitfulness and invade my space. Identifying them and then setting up an extermination plan is necessary.

Roses and daisies…my mother’s favorite flowers

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