As I stand in the garden a Bull Ant bites me on my foot, ‘ouch’. I ponder about their nest, which the gardener has disturbed. The ant’s race around looking for a new place to settle, a fresh start or at least an end to the war, which appears to have bombed their home. I wonder what they are thinking, or if they think.
As I watch the massive amount of Ant activity going on I am thinking that some will be confused, some will be focused and some will be waiting to see what has happened before becoming confused and focused. Some will get stuck, buried alive or trampled by the disturber.
Thinking that through I see there is not much difference in our communities of human activities. We all keep busy until a war breaks out either in the home or outside of it. We all race around trying to settle or to find a fresh start, when forced to. Some of us dig-in, so to speak, refuse to accept any disturbance is happening and some get stuck in the trenches.
Getting stuck in the trenches is of particular personal interest to me. As I watch one large Ant go round and round I wonder if what he is searching for can be found. I wonder if what he works for is satisfying and I wonder if he knows he’s exposed and vulnerable. I can see he is searching, I can see he works hard and I can see he is vulnerable.
Ants work together to support their communities – we humans have a lot to learn from that. Ant societies parallels with human societies in many ways and the way they work together I find inspiring. I continue to watch this flurry of activity, as my foot throbs from the bite, they seem amazing to me. I feel like I am looking down on another life and wonder if some higher being than myself is also looking down on my life, thinking in the same tone, that I am the Ant to them.
I am still working out what I am searching for. All the things we are told are important in our life, like family, have been slowly stripped out of my life. My parents have died. I’m divorced; I live a far distance from my two adult children. They are as independent as I am so we rarely see each other. The ritual of seeing each other is less important to me than talking to them and I do that. My siblings were also stripped out of my life when our parents died and money became the focus, not support for each other. I ponder that at least Ants don’t have to contend with money. In our human world it brings on a whole gambit of problems; and delights. If the Ants have no money problems I wonder what is their reward. Is the reward of living a life enough?
I wonder what do Ants do to bring meaning to their lives? It looks to me to be only hard work to their struggle for existence. I wonder if they love what they do and I wonder have they found what brings meaning and just how closely they see themselves as vulnerable in the trenches of their lives.
Ants thrive almost anywhere and most science facts I read puts that down to the social qualities and their ability to change – they are resilient and resourceful.
I have three words that I attached to myself years ago, mainly due to applying for jobs I was asked to consider my qualities so I decided, my choice, I was enthusiastic (because almost everyone told me that I was), resourceful because I was able to cope and learn; resilient because I was still here!
As I ponder where the Rid cream is to put on my still throbbing foot I also wonder where am I stuck and how vulnerable am I?
Copyright © Mary Willetts 2015