Every spring, Jim has been putting nasty stuff around our house to persuade our local ants to cease and desist. Didn’t work this year. Checked the label; long expired. Enter son Lee with a simpler solution. Mix an equal amount of borax, sugar, and water (a half teaspoon each) into a slurry and set up a couple of stations where the traffic is thickest. I wet the counter, flattened down a 6-inch square of plastic wrap, smeared the stuff around, and waited. At first, we had to direct traffic to the spots, but once the critters waded in…WHOO! Ant heaven! I thought this might take a couple of weeks, but after only 3 or 4 days, they’re gone!
It never occurred to me that thunderstorms have to start somewhere. At some point, a bolt of lightning decides it needs to touch base with an earthbound electrical charge. Both ends gather their positives and negatives, and BLAM! The first strike. My lifetime experience with thunderstorms tends toward early, distant grumblings that gradually increase in ferocity as they approach. Not so last week’s unannounced BLAM right over our Vermont cabin. An AHA moment—the birth of a thunderstorm! I was grateful our cabin hadn’t been chosen as its terminus.
Have I mentioned that May is my favorite month? Leaves emerge, casting the landscape in glowing, ethereal, fair green. Spring bulbs are gone, but lilacs—those sensuous clusters of purple fragrance—take their place. For a time. As they begin to fade, rhododendrons open in breath-taking beauty. For a time. Pink lady slippers pop up in the woods, tall sentinels guarding the wildness of spring. For a time. Nothing of May lasts long. Even smelling a lilac is limited to three seconds, lest we get drunk on its perfume. We can’t hang onto the beauty of spring or of anything else in our lives. We hold all gifts only for a time, and then we must let go, looking in a new direction for the next thing. For some, life holds few good things. For others—no shortage of goodness. But all of us need to look toward a goodness we can’t begin to imagine—a place where we’ll never need to let go or even stop drawing in that eternal, fragrant breath.