Monday, August 8, 2011

tiny, tiny courageous act

I know it’s not much but still, it was the first time I did such a thing.

And I did it.

The guys doing some routine plumbing work noticed it -- fastened overhead about three feet from the back door.

It was small but busy; wasps teeming over the incipient nest.

“You’d better get rid of that.”

Well, yes. But how? On my garage shelves there was a can of aerosol wasp killer spray. The instructions said to use it either at dawn or dusk, when the wasps were less active.

I’m not a dawn person – even in summer. So, after dinner, I sat at the table watching the clock as I read the paper: 7:30 (perhaps still too early), then, finally 8 p.m.

Taking the stool from the pantry, I left the house. After checking the wind, I decided to stand slightly to the west of the nest. I shook the can, vigorously. I sprayed. White foam enveloped the nest and globs plopped to ground. I could see writhing little creatures. I left, taking the stool, went inside and washed my hands.

I felt like Lady Macbeth.

The next morning, there was a scattering of bodies and other debris. I saw no activity. I felt neither proud nor secure.

So the next evening I repeated the process – just to make sure.

And yesterday morning, after 48 hours of no nest activity, I hauled my ladder outside. With a spatula, I scraped the nest off the overhead beam onto waiting newspaper.

I’m sure that the nest was one of Nature’s wonders—intricate design, amazing texture. I just wanted it gone. I wadded up the paper and deposited in the garbage.

No one applauded. I had not asked for either assistance or audience. Still I had done something I was afraid to do.

And it was done.

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