Saturday, April 25, 2009

Signs of Hope

Today as I was taking my morning walk I passed a spot that has been intriguing me for a quite a while. This spot is in the road that winds around the hill where I live, and where a tenacious group of ants has decided to build an ant hill. The road is not well traveled and consists of a pavement made of oil and crushed rock. Apparently the pavement had a couple of small holes in it, about 1/8 of an inch wide, and the ants figured it was perfect and they moved in.
The first time I noticed this was last summer, when a fine dust could be seen around these holes, along with ants, coming and going. I enjoyed walking by checking their progress throughout the summer. During the winter they didn't seem to be around. I don't know whether ants go somewhere in the winter, or hibernate, I just know I didn't see them, and began to forget about them. A few weeks ago, I could tell they were back. It was a warm sunny day, and there seemed to be a lot of activity, and the dust and debris of their home was again evident on the road. There appeared to be a round head of something poking out of one of the holes. I wasn't sure what it was, but pointed it out to my husband the next time we walked together. Right away, he said, "Look there's a horsetail growing out of the hole." The horsetail is a plant that grows in the Northwest in the spring. Today as I walked again, the ants were busy going about their day, and there were several horsetails attempting to break through the pavement.

Seeing the strength and determination of nature to throw off the pavement of man got me thinking about where I and the world are going right now. It led me to the comparison of civilization as the road, and the ants and the horsetail as the parts of the earth that refuse to give up and give in to the weight of what we deem civilization. I can see this in myself as well. I have slowly been pushing and pushing at the weight of social self and the constraints of the society I live in. I see now that I, along with many others have been paved over with thoughts and things, but yet that wild part of us is still there. The ants of my creativity and strength, and the horsetail that is built of my courage and heart, have been working hard to burst through the pavement of my social being. Much of that pavement is cracking away, but it is not easy to keep pushing. I am struck as I write with a thought about looking for the holes to find a way. So I am going to ask myself as well as you:

  • What holes have opened in the cement of your social self?

  • What ways have your pushed through and opened up?

  • What can we learn from both the ants and the horsetail, about the resilience of the earth, and her creatures including ourselves?

I love this analogy and the questions! I am ready to keep pushing and growing. How about you?

Peace and Love,


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