Image courtesy of Wikipedia
When I was stung three times by an angry wasp last Tuesday, it kind of slowed me down. Wasps paralyze their unfortunate victims with their venom, giving them enough time to feed said prey to their larvae. So basically, my hand and half my arm went numb for about twenty minutes because she got me first and worst on the artery right inside my wrist. I was reduced to whining and soliciting my mommy for remedies, because apparently it numbed my ability to use reason and heal myself, as well. Eventually, I chewed up some Yarrow and rubbed it around on there. I lacked a cheekful of powdered snuff, which my granny would dip into when I suffered bee stings as a kid.
All week, my forearm has looked like Popeye's, swollen and with an enormous and unshrinking patch of red, with a nice little black hole in it as a reminder of the medicine that stays long after animals attack. In journeywork, when animals appear three times, we're to really take note and go within to see just what the urgent message is.
What I found is that Dolichovespula, the bugger that got me, nests in shrubs and trees, while Vespidae make the papery honeycombs that began to grow under the eaves of our house, unnoticeably at first, until we were under siege by all sorts of angry, flying intruders.
Both species are social Wasps. Unlike Ants, they seem far less community activists than Defenders of the Holy Queen. However, the Queen is not simply an ovipositor hanging around mating while others protect her precious cause. It is she who builds the first several tiers of the nest, laying eggs and fertilizing them with a dormant ball of sperm from last season and making a home for herself, which will later be continued by the colony of up to hundreds of sterile females. The colony strives for genetic variation and literally builds a complex society, where other queens will be born and go on to fight for dominance.
Several things are bothering me about this medicine and I can't figure out yet how to wear it gracefully. Perhaps by the end of this entry I'll have some perspective. The shadow side of Wasp medicine is that these bitches are really aggressive, and that irritates me as a woman. We are all equals. I dig community. I feel anxious about the term "society". It implies class, caste, strata and governship: things I don't like to think about, preferring to absorb in my little villages of self-sustaining locavore renegades.
I have really come to see Ants in a new light since this Wasp incident, and up til then, I could easily be persuaded to unleash some holy war on them because they often invite themselves in and make a mockery of the dogfood dish and bite my unsuspecting babies, too. I love finding them making a line to my trashcan. Still, they seem just a little bit more...polite. Perhaps they're no more kind than Wasps, but they don't seem to seek my flesh out on purpose like Wasp did. Granted, I was spraying water on the shrub her nest was in...
Sacred Geometry Painting, by Agustin.
I love the way Agustin's painting (he's the partner of lovely Amy of Daughter of the Sun) demonstrates how nature's universal architecture expands out to the edges and far beyond our ability to imagine what lies outside our field of vision-how the points converge and shoot out rays into the cosmos. We can assume that what we create today will be amplified tomorrow, just like Wasp's nest. That the structures we build now could generate more energy for the future to thrive upon.
The question I keep returning to is What am I building? What am I building? Consider that what an individual builds in this lifetime impacts the Earth and her people for a hundred years and then some, beyond what we can dream up by far. Since it's Labor Day weekend, it seems fitting to celebrate what we're all working so hard for. Does the work we do have the potential to make the differences we want to witness?
Where do we want to see the Earth in a hundred years? How do we adjust for that? Some of us will have grandchildren living then-what do we envision for them? What little steps can I take today to create the warmth, connection, community, and reverence that I wish to see in the world around me now and later?
What are we building?