Force of Nature

So I have ants. I mean- I've successfully overcome 3 assaults on my home by ants intent on finding food and annoying me-- since December. It's the fourth one that got me. This time, they are swarming my baby plant sprouts. Specifically, they seem drawn to the one I dedicated to the Goddess, and that I was really really excited about. The "Renee's Garden" Mini Jack Baby Pumpkin starts, to be exact.

The persistence of the ants has led me to do a bit of meditating on the persistence of life and of life force. How unstoppable it is. How strongly it is connected to the Yin-- the water element that simply goes around any impediments, or wears them down over time, to continue it's original intended course. It appears passive or unintentional-- and yet it is this force which perseveres and overcomes to reach it's original goal time after time. The return of the ants has lead me to wonder what greater message I'm missing here. Particularly since they are focused so specifically on my "Goddess Plant." As much as I feel justified in protecting my home and my sacred spaces from invaders such as ants... they have also received the blessings of the Goddess. In fact, they work primarily at night-- by the light of Her moon! And they have a very strong sense of social responsibility. There are no solitary ants. There is no sense of self-preservation if the good of the whole is at stake.

I picked a pretty earthy green ceramic pot for my plant. Nice'n deep for those baby jack roots. I planted five seeds, as they say you should, if you have enough space around them above ground for the plants to grow into-- and because they might not all come up. I got three valiant little starts. They are already about nine inches long, with lots of pretty leaves reaching REACHING toward the sunlight that comes in through the window where they live. See-- the directions say that you shouldn't plant them (or transplant them outside, anyway) until the weather is staying above 50* all the time. So I've been waiting to take them to their more permanent home on my back patio (I live in an apartment-- 2nd floor! and I have ants!) until the nights weren't quite so chill.

After the third ant invasion about two weeks ago, I stopped spraying peppermint essential oil all over the place because I decided it just wasn't working. Big mistake. What I didn't notice was that I was spraying the windowsills where I'd been seeing the ants the first two times-- and they were no longer on the windowsills. They were now on the ceiling. Taking the most direct route they could find toward my kitchen. I still feel terrible about this-- the third time, I called the pest control guys. And even though the ants keep appearing on the ceiling and the window sills, the spray guy sprayed the baseboards. Apparently, ants have to start at the bottom and work their way up like everyone else.

Well, here we are. Two weeks later, and I've got MORE ANTS than I ever had before. And most of them are congregating on my BABY PUMPKIN PLANTS! My apartment manager tells me that if they are attracted to a plant, and I keep the plant, the ants are no longer the apartment complexes problem. So, I've found a new home for my starts-- with a good friend who will love them, even if she can't protect them from the chilly nights like I've done.

I'd no idea it would be this emotionally wrenching to consider finding a new home for my "Goddess Plant!" I know I'd been daydreaming about how these little sprouts were growing with a combination of sunshine, moonshine, and water I've used in sacred circle rituals... and I know I had plans to harvest the mini pumpkins, dry them, and use them again for All-Hallow's-Eve and Winter Solstice, and maybe even Christmas... but I obviously wasn't looking deeply at this connection I'd made between the life cycle of my plant starts and the greater wheel of days and lives.

I have, however, started spraying everything with peppermint essential oil again. Going on sheer number and speed of the ant invaders this time around-- that stuff was actually doing a VERY good job of keeping the majority of ants at bay! I bought a cheap plastic spray bottle (I recommend using a nice glass one, really)... and put about 5-10 drops of oil in for every 1/2 cup of water it holds. I wasn't messing around. That's one heck of a concentrated spray! To be really effective, you have to respray every few hours, as the oils are not nearly so effective once they dry. And remember that ants can just as easily go up and around, or down and around... so make a complete circle around whatever you are trying to protect.

And put all your foods into closed containers. If cold air won't hurt it, consider putting food you wouldn't normally keep in the fridge-- in the fridge. I'm keeping my cutting boards there for a while as well, actually. I'm even considering putting my nice beeswax candles in the fridge! There's not much in my home that can match the pure beeswax candles for sweetness. And what I have are most likely the same sugar ants that started looking here for sweet things three months ago. ...the number 3 sure has come up a lot with these guys... in fact, all the numbers connected to the situation (that I've kept track of) seem to be related to the Goddess in some way... Well, something more to ponder in my next meditation.

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